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Friday, 14 December 2012 12:00

Civic education – For better and responsible citizens

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The government believes that civic education for youngsters is important, especially in a plural society. In this regard, an innovative programme aimed at nurturing responsible and better citizens has been initiated for 200 college students for two weeks.
The history of Mauritius, the environment, the manpower of the economy… they will be confronted with the different aspects of what make Mauritius what it is today and in which direction they are moving.

“The future of the country is in its youth and it is important to educate and empower them so that they can carry out their roles as proud Mauritians,” said the President of the Republic, Kailash Purryag, at the launching ceremony of the National Institute for Civic Education (NICE) at Sir Abdool Raman Osman State College in Phoenix on Tuesday.

This pilot project, under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), aims at instilling character and nurture good citizens by fostering a sense of shared human spirit, partnership for a common sense of purpose, and enterprise for the advancement of the nation. It will consist of core Mauritian values and will engage the youth in positive activities for their personal development.

Around 200 Form IV students aged 15 to 16 years in both state and private secondary schools in Mauritius and Rodrigues are participating in the programme. The pilot project is being held from December 11 to 20, 2012.
From December 11 to 15, 2012, the activity-based programme is being held at Sir Abdool Raman Osman State College and the gymnasium of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Phoenix. After which the participants will be placed on December 17 and 18 in an organisation to enable them familiarise themselves in a core sector. The programme will wind up its activities with a two-day residential seminar at the Pointe Jérome Youth Training Centre on December 19 and 20 respectively.

The programme will revolve around four themes: individual, community, society and country. The component ‘individual’ comprises leadership, creativity, healthy lifestyle and entrepreneurship skills. The theme ‘community’ includes unity in diversity and promotion of harmonious living. Another component ‘society’ relates to discipline, societal norms and responsibility whereas the theme ‘country’ focuses on history, democracy and nation building.

A Tracks Programme will also be dealt with in the second week of the pilot phase during which students will be placed in several organisations/companies in different fields such as hospitality, environment, technical/vocational training, IT/Media, agriculture, SMEs, public service, uniformed services and social services.

On the occasion, the President underlined that young people should be given an education is appropriate to sustain the economic development of the country while emphasizing that knowing the history of Mauritius is equally important.  Furthermore, he encouraged students to opt for science and technology, which he believes, are the key to development. In this regard, he appealed to the education sector to take necessary steps to stimulate students’ interest in science since only 30% opt for science subjects.
Premita Leelachand

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