The Indian government along with the Ministry of Education have trained 5,530 individuals in 42 islands as part of the Maldives largest ever ICT education programme.
The ‘Technology for the Future of the Next Gen’ project was conducted with US$5.3 million in Indian aid and implemented by India’s NIIT Ltd educational services company in association with Electrical Engineering Equipment Company (EEEC) of Chennai, India.
“Capacity building has been and shall remain the cornerstone of our bilateral relationship. I am sure when the seafarers of both countries fished together in the Indian Ocean several millennia back, they exchanged a tip or two about the best fishing practices,” said Indian High Commissioner Rajeev Shahare at the programme’s closing ceremony today.
“This sharing of knowledge and expertise has continued through several centuries and today India offers one of the most comprehensive training programs for Maldivians.”
Shahare said that the programme – aimed at improving the skills of teachers and providing vocational training for youth – had covered one out of every three Maldivian teachers as well as and 2,500 youngsters since January 2011.
As well as revealing positive feedback from participants, a project summary cited the Maldives Police Commissioner Hussein Waheed as saying that the crime rate had dropped by 80 to 90 percent in the atolls where the youth training was conducted.
Education Minister Dr Aishath Shaheem expressed gratitude towards Indian government for the project, highlighting the importance of such programmes to provide teachers with adequate IT skills.
Haa Dhaalu Kulhuduffushi saw the highest teacher participation with 287 teachers, while Haa Alifu Dhihdhoo saw the highest overall participation in the project with 575 participants – 401 of them receiving vocational IT training.
“Now I can create different type of teaching aids and use them effectively in my teaching. This eventually helps my student understand complex topics very easily,” read the testimony of Aminath Shahidha of Haa Dhaalu Kumundhoo School.
In his speech, the Indian high commissioner also pointed out the importance of the upcoming year, which marks the golden jubilee of Maldivian independence and 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Shahare noted that an MoU had recently been signed between the Maldives Civil Service Commission and the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad for training of Maldivian civil servants on a regular basis in India.
Training opportunities in Indian continue to be made available to the Maldivian security services, said Shahare, adding that over 5000 Maldivian students educated in India over the past decade was one of the “pillars of the strong people-to-people contacts between the two countries”.
An Indian-built tourism training faculty was opened in Malé earlier this, while the high commissioner revealed plans for similar facilities for the Maldives police and the Maldives National Defence Force.
Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval visited the Maldives earlier this week, discussing security and defence issues with government leaders as well as pledging expeditious action on all agreed steps to supply petroleum products to Maldives.
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