The Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) is working in partnership with the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive Physical Education and Sport at the Institute of Technology Tralee, Ireland to create access to people living with disability.
The Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius acknowledges the role physical activity in creating healthy citizens, happier communities and a stronger nation for sustainable development. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Christophe Stephan Toussaint said, “it is essential for every single Mauritian, and Mauritius as a Nation, to recognise the value of sport and physical activity in our daily lives, mental and physical wellbeing, productivity and future.” Mauritius is working with the UNESCO Chair to ensure that those living disability are not left behind. Sarah Rawat Currimjee, Chairperson of the Mauritius Sports Council and Catherine Carty, UNESCO Chair Manager, reported recently on the initiative to the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS). This African leadership is more poignant as Africa prepares to host the World Conference of Sports Ministers and Senior Officials, MINEPS VII, in Kenya in June 2021.
People with disabilities do not have equal access to physical activity. MIE is committed to working with the UNESCO Chair to tackle this inequality and place Mauritius as a hub of inclusive practice in the region ensuring no one is left behind. Expansion plans to neighbouring Indian Ocean Island States are taking place.
With the support of the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation and sister organisations, twenty professionals began the first phase of the inclusive Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport (iPEPAS) programme on November 11th 2020. Aisling Clardy from UNESCO Chair Tralee development team commented “participants will uncover the importance of inclusive practices, apply inclusive concepts in their planning and teacher education programme through e-learning modules”. Post COVID-19, on-site work, with a team from Ireland, will see participants and students with disabilities apply their online learning.
Bharutty Ramguttee, the national project co-ordinator said: “We at MIE are delighted to join forces with the UNESCO Chair in inclusive sport and are looking forward this landmark project for Mauritius. It will have a ripple effect across the island on the provision of physical activity for all, especially children with disabilities.”