Project title: Investigating the relationship between poverty, stress, brain development, and brain function in primary school children in Mauritius. (TEC funded)

Mauritius Institute of Education together with Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and University of Cape Town (South Africa)/Wellkin Hospital (Mauritius) is currently conducting a Brain-based research study among primary school children in Mauritius.  The project is funded by Tertiary Education Commission.

In Mauritius the primary education system has consistently been characterised by 25-30 % failure at Grade 6 level.  Such failure is usually attributed to various factors including family background, low parental education and poverty.  Research in other countries has shown that children in poverty-stricken region tend to have poor physiological and cognitive functioning of the brain. This project study thus aims at investigating the relationship between poverty, stress, brain development, and brain function in primary school children in Mauritius.

The study is the first of its kind in the Republic of Mauritius and will help to inform the Ministry of Education, Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research and all relevant bodies about the timely implementation of precise and effective intervention education programmes (e.g. Brain-Based Education) to minimise academic failure in primary schools. Such evidence-based education programme will help to counter the effects of stress and environmental deprivation on learning, levelling the field for young children so that no child is left behind.   The long-term benefits of this project for the individual and society are enormous in that a whole generation of poor children may be able to learn, graduate, make healthy lifestyle choices and be employed.

Research Team:

Professor Jogin Thakore, Dept. of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (Principal Investigator)

Associate Professor (Dr) Ravhee Bholah, Science Education Department, MIE (Principal Investigator)

Dr. Ridwana Timol, Consultant Neuropsychologist, Wellkins Hospital

Associate Professor (Dr), Ajay Ramful, Mathematics Education Department, MIE

All correspondences to be addressed to:

Associate Professor (Dr) R.Bholah (r.bholah@mie.ac.mu)

Associate Professor (Dr) A.Ramful (a.ramful@mie.ac.mu)

Tel: 401-6555

Fax: 454-1037