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Covid-19: Ensuring teaching and learning continuity through digital education is a must, says VPM

Date: May 14, 2020
Domain:Education & Training; Health
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen

GIS  – 14 May 2020: It is the duty of the Government to maintain a continuity of teaching and learning for all through remote learning and to mitigate the immediate impact of school closures, particularly for the most vulnerable. The COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and the Quarantine Bill, will provide to facilitate digital education, hence,ensuring that learning remains uninterrupted during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, made this statement, today, in the National Assembly, during her intervention on the two Bills. Referring to the amendments being brought to the Education Act in the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, she stated that they will provide for distance education during temporary closure of educational institutions as well as make provisions for staffs of educational institutions to produce and conduct, distance education and online learning programmes, including broadcast lessons.

Other provisions include social and physical distancing in educational institutions to be applied as a result of infectious diseases occurring in epidemic forms; and the keeping and the management of a register containing the contact details of school staff, of Managers of secondary schools and of the responsible parties for students, to be used for the purpose of distance education and online learning.

Measures taken to mitigate impacts on education sector 

The Vice-Prime Minister recalled that the disruption in the delivery of education, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, has pushed Government to figure out how to drive engagement at scale while ensuring inclusive e-learning solutions and tackling the digital divide. Hence, the two Bills, she added, will help to adopt new approaches in times of crisis. 

As regards the education sector, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun underpinned that maintaining educational continuity and the timely reopening of schools so as to ensure the safety and health of learners constitute the main driving force behind the setting up of a Task Force at the level of her Ministry. She indicated that since the lockdown, a series of customised educational and online programmes have been created for students. Furthermore, consultations are being held regularly with rectors, teachers and directors of zones to work out a plan for the reopening of educational institutions which will occur in a phased manner, she added. 

School resumption 

Speaking about school resumption, the Vice-Prime Ministersaid that Government is being guided by international experience while taking into account the local context and reality for the partial re-opening. 

She indicated that the upper grades will resume on the 3rd August 2020, while the lower grades will go back to school at a later stage. This measure, she highlighted, will ensure that social distancing is maintained. Physical distancing, staggered breaks, reduced class size, and the review of school calendar and time table, are several aspects of schooling which are being addressed, said the Minister. 

She expressed conviction that the pandemic offers an opportunity to build education systems that are more inclusive, support all children to learn and are more resilient in future crises. According to her, blended learning which combines classroom learning with online learning is the new norm. She appealed for a change of mindset among stakeholders as the alternate modes of learning will now be the new way of instructional life.​

#ResOuLakaz #BeSafeMoris​

Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email:  Website:  Mobile App: Search Gov​

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