GIS - 07 August, 2018: A publication entitled ‘Young Mauritians’ Plan for the Planet’ was launched during a ceremony held on 04 August 2018 at the Auditorium of the Mauritius Commercial Bank in St Jean, Quatre-Bornes. Several personalities including the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun and the Programme Director of Young Persons’ Plan for the Planet from the Australian National University, Mr Ian Chambers, were present on the occasion.
The publication comprises the plans of the participating 10 teams that have been compiled to form a National Action Plan for Sustainable Development (SDGs) in Mauritius representing the youth vision for sustainable Development, in view of promoting and delivering the United Nations’ SDGs among young people across the world. It forms part of the innovative programme, entitled ‘Young Mauritians’ Plan for the Planet’ (YMPP) for secondary schools which is a joint initiative of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC) and the Australian National University, Questacon- the National Science and Technology Centre of Australia.
In her address, Minister Dookun-Luchoomun highlighted that the Programme has enabled youngsters to engage with the SDGs, to make personal connections with the sustainable development agenda and get involved in responsible, challenging actions to create positive social change. This, she said, will certainly help them at a later stage when they will join the work force and be called upon to influence decision-making pertaining to the planet and the creation of green economies.
Moreover, she emphasised that the entire educational reform program is fully aligned with Goal 4 of the SDGs which relates to the provision of Quality Education and ensuring inclusive and equitable education for all along with the promotion of lifelong learning. Government is striving to strengthen the education system so that students emerge as well-balanced and self-motivated individuals, life-long and confident learners who are capable of engaging in creative and critical thinking to act as agents of change, she added.
On that score, the Minister underlined that young people are and will remain a driving force behind development and for this to occur it is essential that they are provided with the skills and opportunities needed to reach their potential. She underpinned the efforts of her Ministry to provide them with access to safe spaces where they can take stock of the state of the world around them but also initiate steps for its betterment through initiatives such as the YMPP.
Young Mauritians’ Plan for the Planet’ programme
The YMPP is in line with the objectives of the RGSC to promote Science and Technology among the students and to supplement school education through informal programmes. The programme is based on the integration of science, economics and geography knowledge and is focused on leveraging business management, leadership and teamwork principles and practice to develop and deliver local, regional, and global sustainable outcomes.
It thus aimed at encouraging secondary school students to learn about the United Nations’ SGDs while focusing on how their respective areas or surroundings are concerned, by using a business planning approach thereby favouring a holistic approach to learning of science. It offered a unique focus on youth engagement in the implementation of the SDGs combined with the teaching of key strategic planning, management and STEM skills in the approach to the development of the plans.
Young people from ten secondary schools across the nine districts were provided guidance to develop an action plan on how to achieve SDGs and considered how the SDGs could be addressed using a business planning principles, over the course of five months, from February to June 2018. A team of mentors comprising professionals from different fields has been guiding students through the process.
The participating teams also attended a youth conference on sustainable development organised by the RGSC, on the same day.
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