SoU

H1N1 flu triggering change in our educational system…

In Events, General thoughts, Technology- our black magic on August 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm
Modern Education

Modern Education

With the H1N1 flu spreading in Mauritius for the last 2-3 weeks, the government came up with the decision of closing schools for around 10 days. However, this term being the most crucial one due to end of year exams, measures had to be taken for students to keep in touch with courses while being at home.

Hence, the idea of giving a list of homework to students on Friday and Saturday last, where the latter had to fetch it at their respective school. Yet, at the end of these two days, it was noticed that 30% of students still hadn’t come to fetch their homework. Then only did the government make use of communication technologies at hand i.e. a hotline, text messages and emails. Plus it has also been decided that in about 15 days, every school will have its own website! The Mauritius College of the Air (M.C.A) has  also agreed to diifuse special TV programmes as replacement for missed courses.

The initiatives and efforts are very good indeed but did we have to be in a situation of crisis to finally make use of technologies in our educational system? Though some institutions are already following the technological pace, others are literally lagging behind – where even a photocopy machine is not available!

The integration of new technologies in our curriculum has to be considered seriously. I am sure it is there but the initiatives have yet to be taken and here we are, facing a crisis, jumping at the those measures that should have already been applied. A school website would not only have helped in bringing a new means of communication but also in administrative purposes. We are living in an information technology era where the internet has become a very important tool may it be in our everyday life or in business. So, why not make use of it for educational purposes also?

Personally, the best example I have experienced in such matter is the website of the Computer Science  and Engineering Department of the University of Mauritius, where we could download course handouts and also consult latest news may it be for exams schedules or even projects allocation. I remember that my  friends from other faculties used to think how lucky I am since I had so much facilities at hand. The same could be applied to our schools where parents could get latest news online ( since letters circulated through students nowadays rarely reach parents). For secondary level, notes and past exam papers could be placed online.

The big BUT in this suggestion is that there are still families without a pc at home! So, it would become somewhat discriminatory towards those students who have no internet facility at home. A very big loophole that has to be taken into consideration in the initiative of becoming a cyber island… Besides, if notes were to be placed online maybe it would stand as a threat to private tuitions and those teachers, who have made  it an integrate part of our education, might very well oppose to this idea.

With deep thoughts, maybe this step taken in a moment of crisis is much better. Had they planned it all, it might have become a real fiasco. Let’s hope it turns a new page for our educational system and kudos to those teachers and staff who are , on their own initiative, bringing a modern touch to their work.

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