Mauritius: The importance of blended modes of learning and teaching in a rapidly evolving world was highlighted today by the Vice-Prime Minister (VPM), Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun.
She was speaking at the opening of a five-day workshop focusing on the development of a blended course in the context of the Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL) project. The Chairperson of the Higher Education Commission, Dr Abdess Salem Saumtally, representatives of public tertiary institutions as well as other personalities, were present at the opening.
The five-day capacity programme, an initiative of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC), is meant for lecturers from four public institutions, namely the University of Mauritius (UoM), University of Technology (UTM), Université des Mascareignes (UDM) and Open University of Mauritius (OUM).
The objective is to develop 40 Open Distance Learning and Open Educational Resources courses by September 2023 at the UOM, UTM, UDM and OUM. The Resource person facilitating the workshop is Dr Indira Koneru, an expert in e-learning from India.
Speaking on occasion, VPM Dookun-Luchoomun elaborated on the TEL project, which aims to develop a harmonised and conducive environment for institutions to adopt blended modes of learning by linking traditional forms of learning to modern and technologically inclined ways.
Against the backdrop of the unprecedented crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she recalled that the education sector had to rethink new strategies for learning and teaching. In an era of digital transformation, she dwelt on the importance of Open Distance Learning and Open Educational Resources modes.
The VPM also seized the opportunity to commend the strong collaboration between the COL and the HEC to bring forth the initiative for blended course development while pointing out that the HEC will be called upon to collaborate with other institutions to integrate digital tools into learning and teaching.
For his part, the Chairman of the HEC spoke of the importance of technology-driven education, adding that the TEL will enable learning and teaching in an enabling environment while enhancing the resilience of the education sector. The blended course development, he added, will help to also increase the number of international students.