GIS - 13 September, 2013: The third and last batch of Information Technology equipment under the Sankoré project, comprising 509 interactive digital projectors with 266 laptops amounting to some Rs 37 million, was handed over by the French government to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources. A formal ceremony was held yesterday at the Ministry’s Central Stores Division, Vacoas, in the presence of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr. Vasant Bunwaree, and the Ambassador of France to Mauritius, Mr. Jean-François Dobelle.
The Sankoré project aims to help Africa achieve education for all through digital empowerment by means of innovative technologies. Mauritius was chosen as the platform for the Franco- African countries in view of the progress achieved in the field of ICT. As an initiative to digitise classrooms, the project was launched in April 2011 with the donation of a first batch of 326 equipment, interactive projectors and laptops, offered by France. A second set of 250 projectors and laptops was received in April 2012.
With the implementation of the Sankoré project in the primary schools, Mauritius has laid the foundation for a digital culture with the support of the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) which is responsible for the elaboration and digitisation of educational contents. The MIE also offers training to teachers on the use the ICT tools to enhance teaching and learning. On that score, ICT support officers have been recruited by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources to assist in the promotion of a digital culture in primary school.
The project has given a new boost to ICT and education, and consequently the Ministry has launched the procurement process for an additional 500 projectors to extend the Sankoré project to all classes of Std IV, V and VI in 2014. The success of the project casts Mauritius as an emerging platform for ICT and education. In this context, Mauritius will host an international forum which will focus on Sankoré in December 2013.
With the donation amounting to over Rs 80 million by the French Government since 2011, more than 1 000 primary classes out of some 8 000 classrooms in the country, primary and secondary, are equipped with interactive digital projectors, laptops for teachers and IT-driven whiteboards..
The extension of Sankoré project and the acquisition of touch pad tablets for the secondary school students are consistent with the vision to transform Mauritius into a centre of knowledge to enhance education as an instrument to face the challenges of globalisation.
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