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InnovEd 2024 Project Launched To Instill Creative, Critical And Innovative Thinking Among Youngsters

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The InnovEd 2024 (Innovation for the Education Sector), a joint initiative of the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) and the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, was officially launched, yesterday, at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, in Bell Village.

This 18th edition of the InnovEd, with the motto ‘Mind to Market’, focuses on stimulating creativity, innovation as well as critical thinking among Mauritian youths, through projects in key areas, namely interactive media, cultural heritage, performing arts, visual arts and crafts, design, languages and publishing.

InnovEd 2024 Project Launched

The launching ceremony was graced by the presence of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, and the Executive Director, NPCC, Mrs Sandhya Boygah. Representatives from different secondary schools and other personalities were also present.

In her speech, the Vice-Prime Minister dwelt on the unpredictability future careers entail in an era marked by artificial intelligence and technology advancements. She, hence, accentuated on the imperativeness of imbuing youngsters with skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, novelty and adaptability. These core competencies are sine qua non to survive and thrive in this 21st century, she pointed out.

InnovEd 2024 Project Launched

Moreover, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun outlined the primary goals of education which encompass increased student engagement and motivation, improved learning outcomes and sound development of social and life skills. These, she affirmed, will be achieved only through the creation of an innovation-friendly ecosystem. In the same vein, she recalled the introduction of the pilot project, the Technology Education Stream, in secondary schools geared towards enhancing the innovative capacities of students.

Besides, the Education Minister commended the NPCC for devising the concept of the ‘Idea box’, whereby the best projects are selected for prototyping. She also dwelt on how the seven different topics chosen by the NPCC namely ‘Language learning’, ‘Waste to game’, ‘Nonmotorised water sports’, ‘Mental health’, ‘Financial literacy’, ‘Integrated farming’ and ‘Cyber -security’, align with the sustainable development goals. Environmental sustainability, cultural enrichment, crisis response and resilience, healthcare advances and economic growth can be achieved only through innovation, she added.

InnovEd 2024 Project Launched

As for Minister Bholah, he urged schools and youngsters to register themselves to leverage from the InnovEd 2024 project. He indicated that since 2005, more than 50 000 students and 2 000 teachers have participated and some 2 000 innovative projects have been presented. Speaking of youngsters as digital natives and change-makers, he highlighted the need to equip and empower them with the necessary tools and resources to adapt and thrive in this competitive world. He, furthermore, spoke of how many Mauritian youth are becoming job creators rather than seekers.

Mrs Boygah, for her part, delved into the significance of the InnovEd 2024 project in fuelling economic growth through the cultivation of an innovative and forward-thinking mindset. The inculcation of new ideas can address the prerequisites of the future workforce, she added.

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