Speech on the occasion of Prize-Giving Day at Beau Bassin S

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Speech on the occasion of Prize-Giving Day at Beau Bassin S Powered By Docstoc
					                              ADDRESS BY HON. D. GOKHOOL,




                                      Beau Bassin SSS

                                   Thursday 19 June 2008
                                         at 09 00 hrs

Mr R.S. Gopaul, Acting Rector
President and Members of the PTA
Members of the Teaching and Non Teaching Staff
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
And Dear Students

Good morning to you all.

I am very happy to be in your midst and thank you for your kind invitation. This is my
first visit to your school.

Special Day
Today is a special day for your school and you are celebrating three events:-
      Prize Giving Ceremony
      Music Day
     Inauguration of a New Science Block.

I am pleased to learn that since its establishment in 2004, your school is making steady
progress and emerging as a quality school in line with our vision for a World Class
Quality Education for All.

Fortunately the weather has improved to allow this function to be held.

As usual, let me say that I enjoy being among young people because you represent the
future of our nation. At your age, you are full of aspirations and hopes for the future.
Our role in Government and at the Ministry is to ensure that all facilities are available for
you to realize your dreams.

Talking of dreams, a great man of long ago once said: “if you want to realize your
dreams, wake up and start working early” which means that while Government is putting
all these costly facilities and amenities at your disposal, you have to put them to judicious
and proper use.

In today’s and tomorrow’s world which is already here and in the context of globalization
the competition for jobs is already very acute. It is of utmost importance therefore that
when you leave school you have the necessary qualifications to go on for further studies
and jobs.

Besides your certificates, you need also to develop your character and personality and
always aim for excellence.

    In this context, do not aim for minimum entry requirements for A-level studies.
       However you must do your utmost to realize your full academic potential the
       soonest because this may be your only opportunity to do so.
Improving quality and relevance of education is a top priority of my Ministry. We are
now also putting heavy emphasis on broadening access. We want all our children and
our youths to have access to quality education. The full projects announced in the 2008-
2009 Budget, namely:

             The HR Knowledge and Arts Fund of Rs1 Billion
             The elimination of abject poverty to enable some 5,000 children to have
              access to pre-primary education.
             The second change programme for those above 16 and below 18 together
              with efforts to improve completion rates at SC and HSC will help towards
              making Mauritius a Knowledge based society.

Quality Initiatives
I have made it imperative for schools to put together committees to look at pedagogy so
that all children may be taken on board and for those who have difficulties to receive
additional support.    Schools have also been requested to set up class libraries to
encourage students to develop a reading culture.

I am also insisting that schools hold regular meetings at all levels to ensure that students
are receiving the best education possible. The journey to world class quality in education
accessible to all is a difficult one and if we do not put in the necessary effort, it will be an
empty slogan only. While in office, I have made it my guiding principle to ensure this
and I will leave no stone unturned to achieve this.

My officers may feel that I am too severe or harsh when it comes to matters of
performance but quality is determined by the actions we take right now.

Let me remind you therefore that proper school qualifications are most essential for your
future. However, this may not be enough. Many employers and universities look beyond
the academic qualifications of prospective candidates.          They also look for further
qualities in candidates that can only be developed through participation in co and
extracurricular activities. For this very reason I have set up a special directorate to look
after co-curricular and extra curricular projects and activities. Projects and competitions
are screened by this Directorate for their educational value. We want students to be
proactive and to develop problem solving, analytical, social skills and others that can
only be developed by participation in such activities.

This is the reason my Ministry approves activities such as Project Citizen, CATs,
Innoved and various other competitions.
            Appeal to teachers and non teaching staff and Rectors and Heads of Schools
             to transform schools into learning communities.
            Roles and Responsibilities of PTAs and parents
            Roles of Students
            Model Citizens of tomorrow of whom our Republic will be proud.

Having said all this, I wish to congratulate those students who are receiving prizes today.
Let me also encourage you to further efforts at school and beyond. For those of you who
are not receiving prizes, let me encourage you too, to further continue your effort. Let
me encourage you under the guidance of the school Management and your teachers, to
make maximum and proper use of the facilities here. Let me encourage you to refrain
from useless anti social behaviour, absenteeism and vandalism.

In this connection, let me say that I am happy that there is close cooperation between the
PTA and the school. We all have to put on heads together when it comes to the education
of our children.

Our aim should always be to put Quality Education first and we should aim to reach for
the moon because if we don’t reach the moon we shall land among the stars.

Thank you for having given me the opportunity to address you today.

18 June 2008