The government of India has gifted books to the Ministry of Education of Maldives.
The books were handed over to Minister of Education Dr. Aishath Ali by High Commissioner of India to Maldives Munu Mahawar during a ceremony held at Jamaluddin School on Wednesday.
A total of 7,115 books were donated to the Maldivian government, under the “Enriching Government School Libraries” programme.
The books were donated as requested by the Ministry of Education and the titles, selected by the ministry, will be distributed to school libraries.
The “Enriching Government School Libraries” programme was announced by India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar during a visit to the archipelago nation back in January 2023.
This is the first batch of the 10,000 books to be donated under the programme, to 215 schools spanning the island nation.
In a Twitter post following the donation, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid expressed delight to see that the "Enriching Government School Libraries Project" announced during EAM Jaishankar’s visit to the Maldives earlier this year, is becoming a reality.
He noted that the library books gifted by India will promote reading from a younger age.
Speaking at the event, High Commissioner Mahawar noted that India is proud to collaborate with the Maldivian government under the initiative. He also noted that the instilling the habit of reading among children would not only increase knowledge but also expand their perception.
The High Commissioner went on to invite more Maldivian students to visit the neighboring country for higher studies and participate in India's booming youth-oriented startup and innovation ecosystem.
In her speech at the event, Minister Aishath Ali shed light on the habit of reading and noted the role of books in the development of young minds.
The minister also expressed gratitude to the government of India for its continued support to the island nation’s education sector.
India Maldives Education Corporation is an important pillar of India-Maldives Development Corporation, with the education ministry having undertaken multiple education-related projects out of 65 community-oriented projects under Indian grants and high impact community development projects grant scheme since 2019.
Some of the completed projects include the construction of classrooms in two schools in Noonu and Raa atoll, enhancing an inclusive education support unit in two schools of Fuvahmulah and Kulhudhuffushi Cities as well as the student ferry network in Baa atoll.
Some ongoing projects include the provision of children’s park equipment across 67 islands, enhancing an inclusive education support unit in three schools spanning Gaaf Dhaal atoll, Laamu atoll and Haa Alif atoll, the school digitalization programme in Laamu Atoll Education Center, the provision of school buses for four schools across Kendhikulhudhoo island of Noonu atoll, Gan island of Laamu atoll, Kulhudhuffushi City and Fuvahmulah City, the digitalization programme in Vilufushi island of Thaa atoll as well as projects to upgrade school computer laboratories across the entire country.
Similarly, several sports and youth development initiatives conducted by the government have been directly benefitting youth empowerment and development.
In addition to this, under the India-Maldives capacity-building cooperation initiative, a massive number of educators and administrators in the education sector are benefiting from various schemes in India as well as under the multiple Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs).
Further, more than 165 students in the country have benefited from the scholarship scheme of the Indian Council of Culture Relations (ICCR) in the last decade.
Many teachers from India teach in local schools across the archipelago nation, and their valuable contributions are playing a major role in nation-building.