IT equipment handover in Mauritius for African digital empowerment project
The Sankoré project for digital empowerment of African students witnessed the third and last batch of Information Technology equipment worth Rs 37 million being handed over by the French government to the Mauritius Ministry of Education and Human Resources on September 12.
This project aims to help Africa achieve education for all through digital empowerment by means of innovative technologies. The strides made by Mauritius in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) made it a natural choice for a platform for the Franco-African countries.
The Ministry’s Central Stores Division at Vacoas served as the site for a formal handover ceremony from the Ambassador of France to Mauritius, Jean-François Dobelle, to the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Vasant Bunwaree.
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 by France. A second set of 250 projectors and laptops was received in April 2012. The final lot transferred recently comprised 509 interactive digital projectors and 266 laptops.
Under the Sankoré project, primary schools in Mauritius have transitioned to the digital culture. The Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) is responsible for the elaboration and digitisation of educational contents and also offers training to teachers on the use of ICT tools to enhance teaching and learning. Also, 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 lease of life to ICT and education. Consequently, the Ministry has kick-started the procurement process for 500 projectors to extend the Sankoré project to classes IV, V and VI by 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 with Sankoré in the limelight in end 2013.
With donation of over Rs 80 million being made by the French Government since 2011, more than 1,000 primary classes of around 8,000-odd classrooms – covering both primary and secondary level - now stand equipped with interactive digital projectors, laptops for teachers and IT-driven whiteboards.
The extension of Sankoré project to secondary school students with the acquisition of touch pad tablets is consistent with the government’s vision to transform Mauritius into a digitized centre of knowledge. Further, this will enable the youth to use education as an instrument to face the challenges of globalisation.
Image: A digital projector donated under the Sankore project being used in a Mauritius school, Source: www.mie.ac.mu
Source: Government of Mauritius