Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius and to the Republic of Seychelles

Consultative Stakeholder Workshops on ''Assisting the Republic of Mauritius to strengthen its capacity in the functioning of the Polytechnics''

Mauritius , 20/09/2019 - 08:59, UNIQUE ID: 190920_4
Speeches of the Ambassador

Honourable Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Minister of Education and Human Resource, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research,

Dear Colleagues and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Professor Theeshan Bahorun, Chairperson Polytechnics Mauritius Ltd

Mr Yamal Matabadul, Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnics Mauritius Ltd

Distinguished Guests,

Members of the Press,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I am very pleased to address you today at the Launching Ceremony of the Consultative Stakeholder Workshops; these workshops are dedicated to 'Assisting the Republic of Mauritius to strengthen its capacity in the functioning of the Polytechnics'.

It is a great honour for me to be present here today for at least two very good reasons.

- First, it is the first event I am attending as the new Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius. I actually presented my letter of credentials to President Vyapoory yesterday and I am really happy to start my mandate with an event at the heart of our bilateral programme between Mauritius and EU.

- Second, it is an opportunity for me to address you on a key priority of the European Union and of both its internal and external policies, namely Education and here particularly Post-Secondary Education; you and me, Ladies and Gentlemen, we all can agree that education is an important investment for any country's growth and competitiveness.

Investing in quality education for all is key for addressing core sustainable development challenges, be it health, sustainable growth or job creation. That is why the EU together with our Member states supports and will continue to support education development in all of partner countries.

The workshops you are participating in today have a clear goal: to strengthen the functioning of the Polytechnics sector. As part of this process, the EU is providing the Ministry of Education with Technical Assistance, but your own role in making a success of this project is key  Let me explain briefly why…

With the right skills, young people can be equipped for good-quality jobs; they can fulfil their full potential and thereby contribute to a more inclusive society. Right skills contribute to employability and hence to prosperity for all.

Therefore it does not come as a surprise to you  that investing in people through education, science, technology and skills development  is in fact a prime priority of the EU partnership with Africa.

Through these workshops, you are in fact already implementing the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Development and Jobs – that the EU launched in 2018 as the overall framework for building a stronger partnership with Africa.

What is the advantage for the Republic of Mauritius  and what can it get out of it?

As you all know, the Republic of Mauritius fares well in the education sector. Mauritius has long reached the Millennium Development Goals for education, including gender parity in education. Mauritius is therefore amongst the countries with a high human development level and can be proud of this achievement.

There are however challenges that still need to be overcome in the Post-Secondary education sector in order to unlock the true potential of the Republic of Mauritius as a knowledge-based economy and to improve both systemic and academic quality in post-secondary education.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

You have the answer to these challenges; and you have it through these Consultative stakeholder workshops you are participating in. There are three results you will need to achieve:

  • First: the development of curricula for Polytechnics Mauritius in its four main clusters, namely: Tourism and Hospitality, Information Communication and Technology, Engineering and Health Sciences. All four are essential for the socio economic development of Mauritius. They should provide young people with skills that respond to the labour market needs and conversely provide employers with the skills they need to develop their businesses. The fruitful dialogue and interaction between the public and private sector are here absolutely critical! Your work today and in the coming months will be the response to the persistent skills mismatch between industry requirements and the available employable human capital in these four clusters; and the measurement of your success will be the number of jobs provided to work ready diploma holders.
  • Second: the long term vision and the preparation of a 10-year Strategy Plan for the Polytechnics. We need to breathe large and wide if we want to consolidate Polytechnics into a solid and reputed advanced training institution. The ambition is not less than to assist Mauritius to evolve to a High Income Country by improving the relevance, quality and equity in Tertiary Education and Research. Those are seen as key areas to transform Mauritius into a knowledge based and innovative society in line with the Government's Vision 2030.
  • Third: the preparation of a costed 3-year Action Plan. You will need to define a roadmap how to get there step by step! The workshops and the work that will follow will help position Polytechnics Mauritius as an attractive, job-oriented and well-defined alternative to university. This will enhance the image of vocational training that can also provide a bright future for younger generation!

 

To help to meet these ambitious goals, the new programme will also  provide next to the strategic approach further expertise and equipment to improve the outreach, the relevance and the quality of the training offer of Polytechnics Mauritius.

 

Before I conclude, I would like to thank you who are present here and all the stakeholders involved in this project: the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research (thank you Madame Minister for your presence here today which is a clear sign of your government's commitment and priority), the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Polytechnics Mauritius Ltd and last but not least our  team of experts.

I am confident that with all your energy and all the work that is currently being done that the strengthening the post-secondary education sector  is at reach and can decisively contribute to transforming the Republic of Mauritius into a strong and forward looking knowledge-based economy.

Thank you for your attention.

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