Director General’s Speech > Launching of interactive CD-ROM for Primary School pupils > Tuesday, 23rd of February 2016 > MGI Auditorium
Representatives of the European Union
Board Members of ICAC
Officials of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research
Members of anti-corruption platforms
Head masters, Educators
Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am honoured to address you this morning at the official launching ceremony of an interactive value-based CD-ROM entitled “Be an anti-corruption star”. This CD has been developed by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research for primary school students.
As you are aware, the ICAC, established under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002, is mandated to educate the public against corruption and enlist as well as foster public support in combatting corruption. In this vein, the ICAC sensitises the general public on the evils of corruption, empowers public officials, employees of the private sector and members of the civil society to participate in the fight against corruption. Fighting corruption through education is a long term process and the results will become visible in the medium and long term. This requires that we properly nurture the young buds of today.
Many of you may be wondering why target primary school students? Well these students have considerable influence among their peers, in the family environment and the community at large. The quality of primary schooling is very important in molding the character of our children. Moreover, according to research, an effective means of inculcating values in school children is through activities. Role-plays, dramas, creative writing, value games and other activities reinforce values and direct pupils towards character building, which is the hallmark of education. Indeed, such activities provide a broad scope for learning experiences necessary for children to process and integrate values in their lives. A value-framework acts as a compass to guide behaviour and character formation of pupils.
The value-based CD that would be launched shortly focuses on values such as respect, responsibility, honesty and integrity, amongst others. I am sure you will all agree that a society can only be corruption-free if traits characteristics which underpin integrity such as honesty, transparency, accountability, fairness and so on are embraced as social norms. Hence when young people are educated on the practice of these attributes, the country will surely be a fairer and a cleaner one.
The CD is expected to contribute not only in the fight against corruption but also in addressing other social ills related to indiscipline among youth. The value-based CD has been conceived as a pedagogical tool to improve pupils’ knowledge, understanding and sensitivity to the issue of corruption as well as bring a change in mindset. It will also serve to inculcate the right attitude and values in children. It is worthy to point out that the project has obtained the collaboration of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research. In fact, the final draft of the CD has been vetted by a team of the said Ministry under the chairmanship of the Assistant Director, Curriculum Department and found to be appropriate for the particular age group targeted. We have also obtained the support of management, pupils and educators of the Villiers Rene Government School. You will have the opportunity to listen to their voices during the highlights in a few minutes.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The value-based interactive CD-ROM entitled “Be an anti-corruption star” comprises stories, word games, anti-corruption poems, ethical dilemmas, acronyms on values and colouring pages, amongst others. You will have the opportunity to have a glimpse of the CD-ROM in a few minutes. We hope that this innovative pedagogical tool will provide an entertaining means for pupils, educators and parents to reflect on the importance of being a person of integrity.
To empower our stakeholders of the education sector, the ICAC is planning to organise several workshops in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research to guide educators on the effective use of the myriad of value-based activities contained in the CD-ROM during the school year.
We hope that the CD-ROM will eventually pave the way towards the development of the character of young people and shape their destiny as responsible, hardworking, patriotic and caring citizens. Parents also must realise that they are the first teachers of their children. Thus it is important for them to complement and reinforce the life skills lessons learnt at school. Parents should ensure that there is no value conflict at home and that whatever is being learnt at school is the practice at home.
I came across a quote from the former president of India, Abdul Kalam
“If a country is to be corruption-free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher”.
I believe that teachers and parents alike should take time to encourage students of primary to use and learn from the CD-ROM. At ICAC, we have spent over 800 hours of work to develop this pedagogical tool and we hope that it will be put to good use.
In this line, to empower the young generation, ICAC has planned various anti-corruption competitions relating to poem, drawing, story writing, public speaking, debate contest, amongst others for different target groups of the education sector. These competitions provide channels for the young generation to
• reflect and express themselves on anti-corruption issues;
• strengthen their knowledge and understanding of corruption through brainstorming and research; and
• trigger the visible engagement of the youth in the fight against corruption.
Accordingly, the ICAC has laid down multiple strategies to empower the young generation to become responsible citizens of the Republic of Mauritius. We work in close collaboration with the Youth Against Corruption (YAC) platform. The said platform comprises members of secondary school Integrity clubs, anti-corruption clubs in tertiary education institutions and young professionals and has as its objective the engagement of the youth in the fight against corruption.
Ladies and Gentlemen
ICAC adopts a holistic and inclusive approach in the education sector. Today’s programme does not end here. Rest assured that we won’t spare any effort to sustain the anti-corruption movement from pre-primary to primary, secondary and even tertiary level. In this vein, two major projects have been launched recently targeting secondary school population and the youth. A Model State Parties Anti-Corruption Conference is being organised in collaboration with the UNODC from 15 to 17 March at BPML Conference Hall, Ebene. The ICAC has also launched a short anti-corruption film competition targeting the youth of the Republic of Mauritius. These are innovative ways to enable the young generation to actively participate in the national fight against corruption.
Ladies and Gentlemen
It goes without saying that nurturing a culture of integrity requires the support of one and all – namely headmasters, educators, pupils as well as parents. Today more and more we all realise that the fight against corruption has become a social responsibility. We trust that you will leave no stone unturned to promote a cleaner and better Mauritius.
Before I end, I would like to express once again my sincere thanks to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, headmasters and educators of primary schools, and all those who have contributed towards making this event a success. We look forward to your active participation and support in the national fight against corruption.
Thank you for your attention