GIS - 18 December, 2013: ‘Our cultural diversity and ethnic differences should be a source of strength and pride and not a source of division,’ said the Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, this morning during the closing ceremony of the National Institute for Civic Education (NICE) project 2013 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles. He was the guest of honour at the event.
Dr Ramgoolam said that the NICE project is all about nation building, adding that it is a very important project which will become part of the national landscape in view of the huge success it has garnered. He emphasised that the project is very dear to him and it aims to lay the foundation for a better Mauritius and to transform the society.
Speaking about discipline, he said that there is too much indiscipline around and that the careless attitude of the population must change. The Prime Minister said that the mindset needs to be changed at a very young age, while highlighting that there is a need to educate and instill a sense of responsibility and discipline in people. He appealed to the population, in particular the youth, to reinforce their belongingness to the nation, to develop a greater sense of patriotism and to know about cultural differences while respecting their neighbours.
Furthermore, the Dr Ramgoolam said that it is important to understand real values of life such as commitment, truth and honesty. Taking as example the life of Nelson Mandela, the Prime Minister stated that life is one long struggle and that it is important to be focused on one’s objectives.
The programme culminated with the celebration of citizenship followed by an award of certificates ceremony to participants of the NICE project.
NICE Project 2013
The NICE project 2013, which aims at nurturing citizens who are filled with pride in national identity, was launched on 2 December 2013 in the four educational zones at Droopnath Ramphul State College, Queen Elizabeth College, France Boyer de Giroday State Secondary School and Sir Abdool Raman State College.
A total of 313 Form IV students of both genders from state and private secondary schools in Mauritius and Rodrigues participated in the programme. The NICE project 2013 is in line with the Government Programme 2012-2015 which aims to establish a national initiative for the youths of the Republic of Mauritius with a view to inculcating a sense of national belonging and rootedness. It provides a common platform for shared experience as well as to strengthen ruggedness, resolve and discipline; provide useful skills and vocational knowledge; and engage the youths in meaningful activities.
The programme consisted of one-day sharing and team building activities in each training centre with 100 participants. Interactive, participative and experimental sessions stretched on four days on four themes namely country, community, society and individual were also on the agenda.
Furthermore, the programme comprised a two-day placement exercise of the 400 participants in the economic and service sectors of the Mauritian economy. A one-night residential seminar at Pointe Jérôme Youth Camp for girls and at Le Chaland National Coast Guard Unit for boys were also scheduled.
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