GIS - 09 May, 2013: Schools are the best places where the notions of road safety can be taught and learned in a collective manner, said the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr. Vasant Bunwaree, yesterday at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Auditorium at the launching ceremony of a Road Safety Activity Book (RSAB) activity book on road safety for pupils of standards III and IV.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, Mr. Anil Bachoo, was also present at the ceremony marking the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. He announced that a Drivers’ Centre will soon be set up to train drivers so that the percentage of road accidents can go down.
In his address, the Vice-Prime Minister recalled that road safety education, which is viewed as a long term intervention strategy, should start at an early age as it can provide lifelong benefits to society. Children may remember the messages in the short term, but effective and sustainable development of positive attitudes towards road safety are best achieved by inclusion in the core curriculum, either as a compulsory subject in its own right or as a cross-curricular theme, he outlined.
Road safety education, as a pilot project, was introduced in 2000 in 12 primary schools, and given its success, Government approved the extension of this project to all primary schools, including Rodrigues. Consequently, in 2006 the first RSAB was launched with the collaboration of the Mauritius Police Force and the Mauritius Institute of Education. This year, the updated version of the RSAB has been prepared jointly by the Ministry Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping; the Prime Minister’s Office; the Mauritius Police Force, and the Ministry of Education and Human Resources.
Mr. Bachoo pointed out that in line with the recommendations of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, Government is determined to drastically bring down the level of road accidents. According to him, the RSAB will be instrumental to increase awareness of road safety risk factors and prevention measures and implement social marketing campaigns to help influence attitudes and opinions on the need for road safety programmes.
For his part, Dr. Bunwaree stated that road safety is everyone’s concern and it is essential in our daily life. Government is fully engaged in taking action, designing safer roads and implementing measures to reduce road accidents. On that score decision has been taken to introduce road safety education at primary level and the National Curriculum Framework has been broadened accordingly.
The Minister made an appeal to all Heads of schools and educators to ensure that youngsters are sensitised on this issue so that they grow up conscious of the importance of ensuring safety security on the roads.
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