When Mauritius became independent 50 years ago, the country had some stark challenges in terms of demographics and an economy reliant solely on sugar, outlined the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, in his message addressed to students this morning on the occasion of National Day Celebrations 2018 – the golden jubilee of Mauritius’s Independence – and the 26th anniversary of the Republic.
‘Our choices seemed limited especially as we have no natural resources. But our parents and grandparents beat the odds and have succeeded to build a nation which has become a beacon in this part of the world’, the Prime Minister said.
According to Mr Jugnauth, the long years of struggle have forged a spirit of patriotism, of belonging, in all Mauritians. Today, it is necessary to consolidate this bond so that we thrive further, soar higher and develop strength and resilience to face the challenges that await us, he emphasised.
Speaking about Mauritian youth, the Prime Minister highlighted that Government is fully aware of their capabilities and is determined to unlock their potential. The reform in the education and training sector is a direct upshot of this endeavour and the goal is to make the transformations in this domain act as enablers to provide young people with life-long learning opportunities while also equipping them with skills for life, he added.
Prime Minister Jugnauth also spoke about his firm belief in investing in the children and youth of the country as it means investing in the future of Mauritius. It is only a modern and globally-oriented education system that will help young people derive optimal benefits and give them the weight and muscle to reshape our nation’s future, he indicated.
As regards institutional changes, the Prime Minister noted that these are needed to create new avenues for further and higher learning. However, he highlighted that innovation in all sectors of Mauritian life, especially in ICT, will be also required for our development and as we embark on the path towards a Smart Mauritius, we are called upon to develop new sectors such as the Ocean Economy and the Education hub.
Moreover, Mr Jugnauth observed that the theme La main dans la main that has guided this year’s National Day celebrations is a very telling one as it speaks of cooperation, collaboration, solidarity and togetherness. ‘These are important pillars on which our Republic relies, for these bind us into a nation that is defined by the ways in which we support each other in times of adversity’, he underlined.
The Prime Minister also said that the unity that is championed by our National Anthem starts at school and our thoughts and attitudes guide our actions and it is only the right attitude that drives us towards the best of results.
‘Mauritius, small as it is, is connected through the hearts of all of us. We learn from those who are around us and we respect the advice of the older generation in a way that shapes our own vision of how we should fend in life. You are the ones to pave the way and lead your peers on the way forward in the near future’, he added.
Source: Government of Mauritius