The talk of the town in Mauritius at this moment (apart from the various scandals) is the concept of the Smart City, which is nicely explained by this infographics available on the Board of Investment website. A Smart City and, by extension, a Smart Mauritius, has to have:
- A Smart Environment where people can practice Smart Living (in other words, respect nature and live with less stress)
- Smart Mobility (use the car only when needed and maximise public transportation and bicycles like in most occidental cities)
- Smart Citizens who have been educated through Smart Education
- A Smart Government (which is not only preoccupied with the next elections but rather the development and advancement of the country as a whole)
- Smart Businesses (which can develop new products and enter new markets by innovating)
- Smart Infrastructure (which can sustain and satisfy future demands)
- and Smart Utility (so that the country does not suffer from brownouts or droughts in the future)
Naturally, it is not smart to believe that we can transform our country into a Smart Country just by bringing in some consultants and praying that building some morcellements and roads will suffice. The key to making Mauritius a Smart Mauritius is the population of the country.
Our education system needs to be drastically changed so that anyone who finishes schools (at any level: primary, secondary or tertiary) is a Smart Person:
A Smart Person as shown above (courtesy of an infographics by the Huffington Post) is:
- and a bit Arrogant too (or is that Self-Belief?)
Personally, I am sure that our education system can be revamped to produce such Smart People provided we better use (in the good sense of the phrase) Smart Lecturers, Smart Teachers and Smart Educators, foreigners or not. In my opinion, there are a number of excellent educators in the country but we need to supplement them with excellent educators from abroad (like Singapore did in fact a decade ago).
Students need to be Smart Students too. They need to focus more on Knowledge, Skills and the Joy of Learning instead of going to tuition, passing exams and obtaining a certificate.
Focusing on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is also mandatory. The Smart World is a technological world and a country like Mauritius cannot afford not to have Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths professionals of sufficient caliber.
[Thanks to Sachin to bring art and culture to my attention: Developing the artistic talents and culture of the population, especially young people, is mandatory too. Like all humanists, I really think that everyone has the capacity to do wonderful things provided (1) she discovers and develops her talent and (2) she is given the possibility / opportunity to contribute, disrupt and bring much-needed changes.]
Is that too much to ask? What do you think?