The opening ceremony of a two-day seminar-cum-workshop on ‘Teaching Asian languages in secondary schools: the way forward’ was held on Thursday at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), Moka.
This event is an initiative of the School of Indian Studies and the Language Resources Centre of the MGI. The representatives of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources and members of the MGI / RTI council were present on the occasion.
The objective of the workshop is to create a common platform for interaction among Asian language secondary educators, equip them with the necessary and appropriate skills and to come up with new teaching and learning strategies.
It will regroup representatives from seven MGI and RTI secondary schools.
Dr Reshmi Ramdhony, associate professor and head of the School of Indian Studies highlighted that the workshop will empower teachers of different Asian languages to teach in a better way.
Girish Gunesh, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, reading the message of Dr Vasant Bunwaree pointed out, “The government has always promoted ancestral languages and has recognised the role which Asian languages have played in the emancipation of our people and the development of our society.”
He added that the government is also committed to the promotion of multi-lingualism and intercultural dialogue in Mauritius.
The number of students learning Asian languages at the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate levels has been steadily growing over the last years.
A total of 2,927 candidates sat for the Asian languages at SC in 2010 with 2,263 students taking Hindi and 411 taking Urdu. The pass percentage ranged from 79 per cent to 97 per cent. For HSC, out of a total of 707 candidates, 524 were for Hindi, 114 for Urdu, 39 for Tamil, 13 for Marathi and four for Chinese.
Gunesh also stressed on the crucial role played by MGI in the provision of both academic and cultural knowledge within society.