Mauritius is in talks with the Indian government to get enhanced support in the education and capacity building sectors, especially in training teachers, Mauritian Education Minister Vasant Kumar Bunwaree said. He said Mauritius is keen to get Indian cooperation in higher as well as primary and secondary education. "We are giving a lot of attention to the development of the education sector. However, we don't have enough expertise and resources. We are keen to get India's support at different levels," Bunwaree told IANS in a telephonic interview from Port Louis.
He said India's help in training teachers and other technical support would help raise standards of education in the Indian Ocean island nation. Asked whether Mauritius had sent any proposal to the Indian government for cooperation in these areas, Bunwaree said: "We are talking at official level." Bunwaree said the two countries have already signed a number of agreements to enhance cooperation in the education sector. India and Mauritius signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) last November to boost cooperation in higher education. The deals were signed during Indian Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju's visit to Port Louis. "We share very strong cultural and political relations. India's role in economic development and capacity building is laudable. More cooperation in education will only strengthen the relations," he said.
Nearly 68 percent of Mauritius' 1.3 million population is of Indian origin, mostly from Bihar and from areas that now form Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The minister said India should also encourage private firms and individuals to play a role in the development of Mauritius' education sector. He assured all possible support to Indian firms for this. Bunwaree felicitated a class five Indian girl for creating software tutorials that have become very popular among students and teachers in Mauritius, as also in African countries. Arkshya Raj Kalra, a student of Gurgaon's K.R. Mangalam School, along with her father Rajesh Kalra, has developed a set of 51 tutorial chapters dealing with common problems in Photoshop. "Even such small things help a lot. We must encourage such initiative," he said. Mauritius is one of the major beneficiaries of Indian technical and economic support provided under India-Africa Forum Summit programmes.