J.SHANE ROSE
EDUCATOR/COUNSELOR

After working for more than 19 years with the students of the prevocational stream and being as from this year a facilitator for the extended stream, I would like to share a humble thought on the current situation in the education field. We must all agree that life as we have known has been put on pause mode for the time being. Our education train which carries students from preprimary to tertiary level has stopped. The minister of education who is the train captain has tried to start the train back unfortunately without taking every child on board. What we can see is that a large portion of students are being left behind as not everyone has the same facilities to embark on this new journey on this train. The father of our nation has worked hard to make free education a reality and constitutional right to every Mauritian child. I really believe that he must be really sorry to take note of the present policy adopted by the now minister of education.

My questions to the Honourable Minister are:

1. Can you still say that education is being dispensed free of charge to every child?

2. Is it not the more fortunate and wealthy ones that are being catered for?

3. Can you confidently say that equal opportunity is being given to all?

4. Is government being fair in providing online education to our grade 10-13
students?

5. Is it a confirmed fact that every student has access to this online education?

I strongly believe the contrary! Having worked with the less fortunate children for so long, I have come to know the reality of these people. Yes, some may have a cell phone or even a computer but very few have internet access at home because this service is too expensive. Some don’t even have electricity at home nor a TV set. How can you ignore this sad reality and pretend all is well and running smoothly? Madam, do you think that in this time of crisis, when many parents are short of money and food, they will be able to provide internet to their precious children? Has the government thought of how these people are struggling to feed their family? Is it humane to impose a futile burden such as internet access on them? Chacha must be crying over our present situation. I firmly believe that the government has the moral responsibility to stop this train until it finds the proper way and means to get every child on board. As the Honourable Minister Dookun-Luchoomun proudly and rightly said, I quote – “NO CHILD SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND.”

As a parent myself, I beg you to reconsider your move and take the time to set things right. There is no education urgency at the moment but one for the health and safety of our citizens. Do not let history remember you and this government as the ones who sacrificed the poor Mauritian child for the sake of the more fortunate ones. On these words, I wish my country a quick recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

God bless Mauritius…