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International Day of the African Child Celebrated on June 16

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In line with the International Day of the African Child celebrated on the 16th of June every year for 30 years, the Commissioner for Child development and Others, Franchette Gaspard Pierre Louis, said that children’s rights must be respected. It was during a press conference on the same day at Malabar. This special date commemorates the massacre of hundreds of children who were killed on the 16th of June 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, only because they were gathered claiming equal rights to education in a country where an apartheid government was in power. The Commissioner thinks that, if the situation of the african child living on the continent cannot be compared to that of a child living in the republic of Mauritius, we must still be very careful. She also thinks that the rodriguan child is lucky to still be able to attend school, as this in not the case in many countries due to the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic. She thinks that all adults working with children should de vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to protect them. She equally thinks about the 48 % of those who failed their NCE exams in Rodrigues and said that this issue must be seriously debated upon as education is a priority.

According to Franchette Gaspard Pierre Louis, meanwhile children in general are living quite a good life in Rodrigues, many challenges are still ahead. « But », she added, « if everyone follows the same path, then our children will be better off. This is possible if we all assume our responsibilities correctly ». She identifies the challenges as related to the improper use of information technologies, which in turn impacts on their education and their health. In addition, there are flaws in the way some children are educated at home, which is the root where education starts. She also talked about sexual education, which is still taboo in Rodrigues, among other issues.

One main project consists of protecting the child within the family cell itself. « Several cases of abuse, may it be sexual or others, have been officially reported. And the figures are quite alarming. We have had 137 cases of teenage pregnancy in 2020 and we have noticed that girls are pregnant at a very early age and this is very worrying, even if much is being done in view to avoid such situations », she said. And accordingly, such situations later may lead to the vicious circle of poverty, with all its consequences. However, as a positive note, the Commissioner states that our children have got talents. She invited all of them to come and perform and show their talents at Baie Aux Huitres on the 19th of June during the entrepreneur show.

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