GIS – 12 June 2014: The answer in combating poverty and tackle social exclusion is through education that opens up a world of opportunities, has the transformative capacity of changing one’s life for the better and makes it possible for anyone to climb up the social ladder. That is why Education is and remains Government’s top priority.
The Prime Minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, made yesterday a plea for access and quality education for all during the laying of the foundation stone of the University Campus Pamplemousses yesterday. Several eminent personalities were present including the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, Mr Anil Kumar Bachoo, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security and Attorney General, Mr Satya Veyash Faugoo, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, Dr Rajeshwar Jeetah, and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Satyaprakash Ritoo.
According to the Prime Minister, it is Government’s duty to correct injustices bestowed by fate, by striving hard to provide the same services and facilities to every child without discrimination or distinction of any kind namely through free transport and free education, among others. He added that the final aim is to enable children to develop their full potential and innate abilities to their maximum. Dr Ramgoolam urged the youth not to take for granted all Government’s efforts and means provided for their betterment but rather to work hard and persevere.
The Prime Minister also recalled measures undertaken for Mauritius to develop a new pillar of the economy, the knowledge hub, and bringing higher education within the reach of the people. The measures are namely the creation of new campuses across the island such as in Camp Levieux, Pamplemousses, Bel Air and Montagne Blanche; the establishment of partnerships with renowned universities in the like of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, the University of Aberdeen and the Université de Limoges; and a wider spectrum of courses. Those measures have led to a dramatic increase in the rate of tertiary enrolment rate, from 28.4% in 2005 with some 28,864 students to reach roughly 46% today totaling some 51,500 students, stated the Prime Minister. He added that the new campus will give a new impetus to the Northern region not only in terms of infrastructure but also in research and development.
Speaking on the need for a visionary leader with strong determination and force of will to be at the helm of affairs in order to steer the country in the right direction, the Prime Minister put emphasis on the importance of thinking and planning ahead to a potential future in a bid to make of Mauritius a strong united nation. To that endeavor, he said, Government’s focus will remain on education, ensuring healthcare for the population, achieving equal opportunity and lifting people out on poverty.
The new campus in Pamplemousses is part of Government’s national strategy for tertiary education, which is based on the vision to transform the country into a knowledge based economy by providing every citizen the equal opportunity to achieve higher education and decentralisation of the construction of campuses for higher education to become more accessible.
It is to be recalled that the allocation of a plot of land of 50 acres for the new campus is the result of the 2,000 acres agreement of April 2008 between the Government of Mauritius and the Mauritius Sugar Producers Association. It will also accommodate a new Planetarium which will be constructed with the support of the Government of India.
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