Thursday, 5 November 2015

Capacity building workshop on “Interactive Multimedia Development” at the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education

The Commonwealth of Learning invited in October 2015 Dr Santally Mohammad Issack to conduct a three-day training with staff of the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE) on multimedia materials development for MOOCs using the Rapid e-Learning Methodology.

The workshop was conducted with around 20 participants that included academics and teacher educators as well as supporting staff of the SITE. The participants had been exposed to two days of initiation to MOOCs prior to following the final three days on multimedia development using a more hands-on approach.

Participants were given training materials in the form of printed guides, and a CD containing relevant software for further practice, as well as necessary equipment such as headsets for the smooth delivery of the training.

The first two days of the workshop were essentially focused on hands-on practice using the different tools. A walkthrough approach was adopted throughout where they used the same resource throughout to better get an understanding of the processes involved using the specific tools in a chain model for content digitization and delivery. 

On the final day of the workshop each participant had to develop his or her own mini interactive learning resource using the techniques learnt in the previous two days. At this stage it was related to the application of the knowledge, skills and competencies acquired in the first two days.

The workshop has received intensive coverage from the press in the Seychelles

Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Global e-Schools Initiative (GESCI) for the African Leadership in ICT programme

The University of Mauritius through the Centre for Innovative & Lifelong Learning has signed the MoU with GESCI for the accreditation and delivery of the Online African Leadership in ICT (ALICT) programme. The programme has been launched since 2012, and is currently accredited at the level of a Postgraduate Diploma by the Dublin City University.

This MoU is the culmination of three years involvement of UoM with GESCI, in different aspects of the ALICT programme. The programme is targeted at public officers at management level in a number of African countries both Anglophone and Francophone.

As from January 2016, the programme will be jointly offered by GESCI and the University of Mauritius and this will lead to a Postgraduate Diploma. There is also an alternative route for those who hold the Postgraduate Diploma to embark on the Masters project to upgrade their qualifications. 

The programme will be managed by the Centre for Innovative and Lifelong Learning whereby 6 staff are already Alumni of the ALICT programme. 

The key element about this project is that it is in line with the strategic direction of the University in terms of internationalisation. What we hope to achieve is a better visibility and increased reputation of the University at the regional level, more precisely on the African continent. 

We thank the Chairman of Council, the Vice-Chancellor and the two Pro Vice-Chancellors for their support to the project and express our appreciation to the commitment of GESCI to work with the University of Mauritius as their privileged partner.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Our Innovative Learning & Teacher Education Living Lab (IL.TE.LL) gets E.N.O.L.L Accreditation at the 9th Wave

Our living lab is based on a multiple-impact social partnership (MISP) model and is essentially an integration of the Research and Development model described below that has governed our applied research activities in education technology, and a community engagement model when members involved in the Living Lab established a non-governmental organisation through an entity called Helping Our People. It is based on Whitehead’s (2012) education research philosophy for social change through action research and the Living lab paradigm for Teaching and Learning (Conruyt 2013). 

The MISP model fits in the 4P innovation framework where the Public sector is represented by the University, the Private Sector is represented by Microsoft Indian Ocean and French Pacific or other actors in the future, with the People being academics, educators, and Youth volunteers (students). The beneficiaries and the partnerships among these actors are mediated through a collective social movement called Helping Our People. The Research and Development Model (Cycle 1) is based on a practitioner-oriented concept where research and development essentially become the drivers for practice-oriented enquiries to improve teaching and learning systems. It aims at field experimentation to test new practices, which are then formalized into teaching methods that can be cascaded down to educators for classroom application. The educators at the receiving end also become engaged in an action-reflection cycle where the feedback is fed into the system for continuous improvement and refinement of teaching techniques and the application of ICT tools in day-to-day practice. The 4P connection is illustrated in the following paragraph. The rapid e-learning project created a link tunnel between the SIDECAP project, the in-service educators and the Microsoft Partners-in-Learning (PIL) Program ( in Mauritius. 

The Microsoft PIL program is managed by the Microsoft Indian Ocean and French Pacific branch, based in Mauritius and the aim is to promote the integration and the use of information and communication technologies in the classroom, with the main focus on the primary and secondary education sectors. The PIL network provides educators with ongoing training and free tools as well as access to a broad range of technologies and lesson plans to improve classroom practices. This is in line with the very essence of the article of Moon (2010) based on the belief that “education and training should be an entitlement for all teachers at all stages in their careers” and that research has demonstrated that when “this entitlement is honored, learners achieve more and schools improve”. The rapid e-learning methodology relies intensively on Microsoft PowerPoint as the prototyping and development workbench. This methodology with the ability of the team to cascade it down to educators to empower them to develop their own learning materials has prompted Microsoft to fund the training of an initial 50 educators on the technique in 2012.

The government, in 2003, launched the ZEP project in a coordinated effort to deal with the learning difficulties faced by children coming from poor localities. Mahadeo and Gurrib (2008) report that within the framework of the ZEP project, children are entitled to: (i) pedagogical innovations with respect to teaching and learning; (ii) improved provision with respect to their diet; (iii) a health programme for all of them; (iv) a teaching support kit; (v) a monitoring system with new indicators; (vi) a databank to keep the policy dialogue active and (vii) involvement of the local community. It is within such a social engagement context that the non-governmental organization Helping Our People was established to act in a broader context in line with the Living Lab philosophy. The concept of Youth Empowerment has been embodied in the functioning of the organization in two ways. The first one is to take undergraduate, full-time, university students and train them through capacity-building projects to assist in and to ultimately lead technical teacher-training workshops, and, to inculcate a culture of social values and voluntary work to contribute to the welfare of society and student surroundings in general.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

An example of institution-wide leadership

15 years ago, Prof Fagoonee the then Pro Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning had a vision of modernising the teaching and learning system of the University through ICTs and the use of Internet to deliver instruction online. 15 years ago, internet connection in Mauritius was still dial-ups in the small number of households that had access to it. Yet, Prof Fagoonee, had this vision for the University.

He convinced the University at that time to setup the Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies, and he recruited another extra-ordinary person Prof Senteni to head this centre from 2001-2008. I had the priviledge to join the Centre in 2001 itself and to do my 'pupilage' in the field of education technologies under Prof Senteni. 

I still remember how we had to run a RJ45 connection from the Agence Universitaires de La Francophonie (AUF) - next door - to connect it to one of our computers for high speed internet connection, as connectivity on the University LAN was awful. This is how we started in eLearning (to cut the long story short).

We had a hard time to convince academics that eLearning and online instruction represent the future of modern education, and this is what Universities would need to remain competitive in the 21st Century educational landscape. Very few believed, and to some extent, some mocked the initiative, and many would have termed it as money wasting.

But we believed. Today from that generation of persons who joined the VCILT either as staff or student trainees, or admin staff, myself and my colleague Dorothy (who joined a few months before me) are the only ones who are still there.

In December 2008, the contract of Professor Senteni was not renewed, and he left for greener pastures after having provided a strong foundation to the VCILT and ensured that myself and other colleagues have attained a level of maturity in the field. The year 2009, was hard as we were left on our own with little support from the top and with the risk of being dismantled. Indeed many were waiting for that time to happen. But the team which grew under the leadership of Prof Senteni had a different set of values that were incorporated in their subconscience, and the VCILT as one block, took up the challenge to become a success a few years later. We led by example, engaging and getting recognised internationally and being active in research, and we showed to the university that online courses are feasible and that we have the capacity to do it. The successful courses like the MSc Educational Technologies, the BSc in Educational and Instructional Technologies, and the BSc in Web and Multimedia Development, proved all doubters wrong.

Today in 2015 where the University is at a critical junction facing big financial difficulties, and competition from other global institutions, it is at last realised that e-learning can be one of the keys to unlock this potentially dangerous situation. Two key situations made me reflect on the fact that finally our perseverance, belief and confidence managed to convince the University that we are a key strategic unit for the university. The first situation is when visitors from the World Bank who recently visited us queried about e-learning, instead of me answering, all my colleagues and the vice-chancellor, defended the need to go online..and the 2nd situation was when all faculties were presenting their implementation plans for 2015-2016 with regards to the new strategic plan of the University, all Deans had one major element to highlight - modules on e-Learning mode.

After 15 years, there could not be a better example of Institutional Leadership than what the the VCILT team has demonstrated...

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Compulsory and Anonymous Student Feedback – To what extent are they objective, fair and reliable?

Student feedback is seen as an important element in any university quality assurance system. It is a measure of the extent our ‘customers’ are satisfied with the ‘services’ offered to them. Except, that here our ‘customers’ are of a different breed. We have all been students at some point in our life. In the 21st Century we are all lifelong learners, and whenever we are engaged in a training programme, or in studies, we are quickly overtaken by the ‘student mentality’. 

So what are students expecting in reality?

Although we should not generalize, a big portion of the student community will want to first pass the exams. So if the exams are easy, and tips have been well given, at the end they will be quite happy. The second element is they want minimum coursework, minimum attendance, a complacent lecturer who understands them, and who is not ‘strict’ so that they face less stress and better outcome from the studies.

The final element is that they still want to get maximum knowledge and spoon feeding from the lecturer despite point 2 above. So that is kind of a tricky situation isn’t it? Yet feedback is an important element to improve courses, and to ensure the needs of all stakeholders are met to a satisfactory extent.

So, should feedback be compulsory, and should it be anonymous?

Getting student to give feedback at the University of Mauritius has always been a big challenge. In the past there was an attempt to make it compulsory, prior to re-registration of students for the next year. This resulted in a more or less robotic filling of feedback just to get access to the module enrolment system. The approach was abandoned, and the university has many difficulties, despite sensitizing students about the need to fill in the feedback sheets.
The main reason provided by the student community for not providing feedback was that they feared being penalized if they provided ‘bad’ feedback on a lecturer. While some benefit of doubt could be given to this excuse, it did not in itself provided a solid justification for the student community for not giving feedback.

So the University’s senate recently decided to make the feedback compulsory again (and this time, against a penalty to be debarred from the exams if same was not provided), and ensured students that feedback would be fully anonymous to quash any fears of penalization. Does this really work?  I am not sure that as an educator, I will agree with both measures. I do not think in the first place, that feedback should be compulsory – it should rather be voluntary to ensure objective and reliable feedback is received. Second, I don’t think its best to force feedback to be anonymous. Rather it should be open, non-anonymous, and form an integral part of the course.
When feedback is compulsory there are two flaws that would arise:
  • Students will complete the feedback to achieve something which is more important (i.e. sit for exams) and therefore the feedback is relegated as a means only. Many of the feedback I checked were similar comments for all modules taught by different lecturers. They merely copy-paste. In such situations, we often see contradictive comments from students.
  • Being compulsory, means almost 99% of students who are really willing to sit for exams will actually fill in the feedback. However, the university does not apply the rule of 80% compulsory attendance, to be allowed to sit for exams. So in this case and very often it’s the case that about 50% of the students would not come to any class, or seldom come to class, yet they will give feedback!
Can we therefore reasonably take these feedback as reliable? I would doubt….

The problem is now amplified with the feedback being anonymous. First, we cannot filter out outliers from the feedback provided, as we will have the flawed assumption that all those who provided feedback were regular attendees in the class. We cannot have any means to cross check attendance regularity with feedback provided. This also hinders educational research.

The other issue with anonymity is that it fosters a culture of mistrust and provides not only a platform for honest feedback but also for unfounded and incorrect statements to be formulated. This type of approach is not in line with 21st Century education practices where the role of the teacher and the student are different than how it used to be decades before.
The elements of mutual respect, autonomy, trust and community building around a course, do not concur with the concept of traditional student feedback through compulsion and anonymity. We have tried this in an online module offered to 800 students a few years ago, and that was the best means to work in a collaborative and conducive learning environment to foster a fruitful teacher-student relationship mirroring closely the realities and exigencies of 21st century education.

Monday, 18 May 2015

World Telecommunication Day 2015 - ICTs in Education

Today the World Telecommunications Day 2015 was celebrated by a workshop, organised by the National Computer Board. The theme of the Workshop was on Innovation focused on the use of ICTs in various sectors. In general the workshop was very fruitful with a couple of very interesting and less interesting talks depending on one's interest. The focus was very much on making Mauritius a SMART island with the concept of SMART cities.

I was also invited by the NCB to make a presentation of ICTs in Education. The presentation is available on Slideshare on the following address. The title of the presentation was ICTs in Education - Drivers of Innovation and Enablers towards Knowledge Society Development. I wish to thank the NCB and my colleagues who remained till the end to listen to my talk. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Helping Our People - Certificate Ceremony - 'Introduction to Microsoft PiL Network'

Helping Our People ( proceeded with the Certificate Award Ceremony for the Capacity-building of Educators programme for the 15 hour course on Microsoft Partners in Learning Network today on the 25th April 2015.The course was offered on a blended mode through the online learning platform of the association combined with 3 face-to-face workshops and seminars. 

The message of the President to the educators reads as follows:-

Dear Educators
Welcome to this small and rather discrete certificate ceremony for all those who have successfully completed the blended short course “Introduction to the Microsoft Partners-in-Learning Network”. As you would most probably be aware, the Partners-in-Learning Network is now known, if I am not mistaken since April 2014 as the Microsoft Educator Network.

Before I proceed further, I must present to all of you present here, our apologies for the delay in holding this ceremony as we were very much taken up in our professional activities and we also wanted to give the chance to a maximum of participants to complete the course. This course started back in 2014, with about 300 educators expressing their interest to join, and finally it was only about 172, who registered and collected their kits. We had about two to three workshops and seminars sessions and the rest of the course was run online. Out of these 172, around 60 participants have successfully completed the activities and earned badges online.

As you are aware, this course would not have been possible without the support of our main partner Microsoft Indian Ocean and French Pacific Ltd, represented by Caroline who has always given us full support since we established the association Helping Our People. Today we have completed more than 2 years of existence as a charitable NGO, and despite our commitment and achievement over these two years, we would have wished to do even more. Hopefully now, with our 2 yrs of existence we will be eligible to be recognized at the level of the national CSR committee. Our team is already working on a number of new and innovative ideas and socially engineered projects, for which we will be seeking funding to realize, and as usual we will count first and foremost of Microsoft, and we also welcome anyone of you here who is interested to give us a helping hand in any way you could.

Helping Our People has a MQA approved training centre, and we will certainly benefit from this first experience to launch a series of new courses on blended mode so that a larger number of educators and persons can benefit from same.

At Helping Our People, we are staunch believers that education is key in the fight against poverty and that a good education forms the basis of a sustainable society with constructive human beings. Our belief is however not sufficient and we need a key ally in this mission, and this ally is you all here, the educator community without whom the country will be on its knees. Yet by your effort the country is able to walk, but today in this globalized world where technology is dominant, we believe you can make the difference by being the change agents and the ones who will bring in a silent yet powerful revolution in the schools at grassroots’ level. Change and innovation cannot come from the top, but it’s a wave that starts from the bottom and brings with it change that brings further prosperity and development.

Remember, you are no longer educating the future citizens of the country to live in the industrialization era, but rather you are empowering them to face the challenges of a more and more virtual world with a blur line with the real one, and where knowledge and know-how are the predominant elements. In other words, you have to prepare the kids and the youth to face and live in the knowledge society.

The philosophy of education for the 21st century can no longer be same to the old methods and ideologies that governed our education systems in the former centuries. Sadly though, we still note that we are often confined within the same constraints and everytime we move one step ahead, the system’s rule will bring us two step back.

Here I would like to quote Agatha Christie I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays, and have things arranged for them, that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas

I will end on this quote from Agatha Christie so that we can all keep the reflection ongoing in our minds for how we want the future of education to be.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

CILL gets AAUN funding

CILL secures AAUN (Australia-Africa Universities Network) funding (AUD 10000) through competitive application process, for the project titled "21st Century Skills for Education Practitioners : Rapid e-Learning Tools to develop Interactive Learning Materials". The project is about the development of an online Postgraduate Certificate in Rapid e-Learning Methodology aimed at the professional development of educators. The aim is to equip educators with the relevant 21st Century Skills where ICT integration in Education practices is a main driver of change, innovation and reforms in educational practices. 
The rapid e-learning methodology has been used at the University of Mauritius to develop its online courses, and has been used in capacity building initiatives for educators with the support of Microsoft. In Uganda with the Makerere University, and in India under the COL Lifelong Learning Programme for Farmers in Agriculture. It is now proposed to scale up from short duration capacity-building initiatives to an online professional postgraduate programme. The idea is to decentralise, and empower education practitioners to develop their own interactive materials for dissemination and sharing. It further aims to build local and regional capacity in the field of multimedia-based open (and distance) learning. The educational philosophy behind this project is inspired from Moon’s position in the 2010 issue of the COL Connections magazine. Moon argues that it is time to implement new technologies in teacher training courses so as to focus on the continuous professional development of educators. Adopting a very critical view of the so-called brick-and-mortar institutions for teacher training, Moon highlights “there is absolutely no way the bricks-and-mortar institutions of teacher training created in the last century will be adequate for the 21st century needs”.

The aim is to develop and digitize the four self-instructional modules that will make up the programme of studies. The key challenge will be for the team to propose a specific e-learning framework or model on which the pedagogical conception of the course will be based. The outcome of the work will be a complete programme of studies ready to be delivered online to participants coming from the different regions of the world with a main focus on Africa. The awarding body will be the University of Mauritius and the partners from Makerere University and Curtin University will contribute in the content development and the elaboration of the global pedagogical strategy for the conception and delivery part. The online learning platform that will host the programme will be based initially in Mauritius and delivered through the iLearn Platform of the University of Mauritius.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Higher Education Act for Mauritius?

The Honorable Minister of Education has recently announced the forthcoming Higher Education Act for a better control and regulation of the tertiary education sector in Mauritius.

From a recent discussion in 2014 with a former (retired) Vice-Chancellor of the University, he was of the view that such an act is inevitable in the 21st Century where Mauritius holds the ambition of becoming a knowledge hub and to internationalize its higher education system. 

Indeed the idea and the need of such a higher education act does not date of yesterday. It was already on the table back in 2011, when the then Minister Jeetah, in charge of tertiary education sector, seemed to have already worked on draft bill. At that time, Prof Konrad Morgan was the Vice-Chancellor of the University.

As a member of management of the University, I have had the chance to look at the draft bill when Konrad Morgan the then Vice-Chancellor circulated it via email,. The idea behind the need of such an act was unclear at that time, and it raised high concerns (at least in my mind and clearly also in Konrad’s) when we realized that with the coming in force of such an act in its current state, would mean the repealing of the UoM Act which guarantees the fundamental autonomy and academic/intellectual freedom at the institution. Under that bill in its current form the UoM would have lost all its autonomy and would have been the last and final institution to come under the full legal grasp of the Minister (by virtue of the Act)

In Mauritius there are 4 public universities, and save the University of Mauritius, all the other 3 universities basically have political nominees or at least nominees as their Director-General while the University has the freedom of an independent and democratic selection of a vice-chancellor (against a well-established profile). We have seen how the then Government had appointed a secondary school manager/educator Director General of the UTM in the past. This inherently means that the Minister is in full control of these institutions, and the claim can reasonably be extended to institutions like TEC.

It might be that it is now imperative to have such an act to better regulate the tertiary sector in Mauritius. But there are some fundamental questions that need to be asked with respect to the Act itself with respect to public institutions:

Who would be those persons to be involved in drafting the Act? Would they only take the draft bill of 2011, make some cosmetic amendments and present the same bill again? 

From my perspective, all stakeholders, especially those with independent thought and political neutrality, should be part and parcel in the elaboration of the new Act.

What are the ‘garde-fous’ of the Act that will ensure autonomy and independence of public institutions and at the same time, do away with the current ways of appointing the Director-General of the three public Universities? A similar model should be applied to prospective private bodies of higher education with respect to the person to be in charge of such institutions. 

To what extent would the Act give powers to the Minister (whoever be in office) in terms of control over the regulatory functions of such an Act?  If such an Act would be an overarching one covering regulatory bodies like the TEC and MQA, do we still need a TEC Act and a MQA Act?

As I mentioned in a previous post, TEC cannot be the funding agency of institutions, the regulator of private institutions, the distance education leader, the body to give recognition and equivalence of foreign qualifications (their methodology and knowledge in this area is awful) and admittedly the competent legal authority over higher education, when the institution itself has suffered from lack of credibility, lack of competent people with intensive knowledge of higher education and a clear lack of independence of operation as well as internal intestinal fights.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Changes to come in the Education Sector.....

The changes to come in the education sector.....

1. The 9-year schooling, the CPE and the curriculum

To be frank until now i have been hearing on the 9-year schooling concept without really starting to think at how it would be in reality. I had only framed a broad idea that kids would go to Primary schools for 9 years instead of 6 years, and that there would be an assessment after 9 years (equivalent at the age when they reach Form 3)....

That would indeed mean a radical change, both from a pedagogical point of view and from a socio-cultural perspective. We are not used to this system of education where our kids would move from ‘childhood’ to ‘adolescence’ within the same environment for an extended period of time. From the pedagogical perspective, the broad concept is that we will get away with the CPE exams, a very heavy burden on the shoulders of kids, where at such a tender age, we start injecting into them the inferiority or superiority complexes which they are not yet psychologically nor physically ready to face in life.

So what could that be this famous 9-year schooling system?

To start with, I am quite sure there has been misconceptions and amalgamations in the past with what is called Year Nine of many education systems around the world. (

In the above press article, I learn that it would represent 6 years of primary schooling with a reinvented CPE (designed to remove pressure, but to ensure the transition from primary to secondary schooling), and then there will junior secondary and senior secondary schools. For me the term 9-year schooling is inappropriate to characterise a system still divided by a 6-year of schooling termed as primary education and a split 7 years of schooling termed as secondary education. Or the logic is that we are keeping in mind what I termed as the socio-cultural impacts that would bring into the system with kids staying for 9 years in a primary school. The transition from childhood to adolescence is the key in ‘bridging the gap’ between the CPE and the Junior Secondary school.

While the junior secondary schools would be most probably region-based, there is another factor which becomes very important that is how to stream students in those schools. Will a disguised form of ranking still apply? Or will those be by subjects or entirely by ‘catchment areas’ or through some other formula? The problem is with the evaluation process at the CPE level to ensure this transition. Any form of in-depth evaluation at that level will still maintain the pressure of all stakeholders. We have seen that the abolishing of ranking has not really relieved parents and kids from the stress of CPE exams. I would rather go for a form of continuous assessment, and as the Minister said, which is very commendable, less focus on academic curriculum and balancing with other more important values of life (living values) that should be embodied in them to make them better citizens.

Any form of written, supervised and stressful examinations system should be abolished once and for all. That is the biggest challenge of our current education system as from primary to tertiary; it is too centred on examinations.

2. Higher Education Institutions

Unfortunately I would have preferred that there is a Ministry for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation. The education context in Mauritius has evolved a lot. At the tertiary education level, we have moved from having 1 public national university, to 4 public Universities, the MIE and a Private Institution operating more less like a University (CTI) and other quite serious institutions like the Middlesex University (Mauritius branch). This evolution and taking into consideration the number of private providers, fully justifies the need for a specific Ministry. Of course, necessary checks and balances have to be put in place to avoid the kind of issues that the higher education sector has faced in the recent past.

The tertiary education commission needs to be reviewed in depth. It cannot play JACK-OF-ALL-TRADE role as regulators of private higher education, then as the agency looking into the funding of tertiary institutions and also look at issues of recognition and equivalence, distance education, research etc. Its portfolio is way too broad and vast, and it clearly does not have the necessary resources, in some cases the right competencies and independence (at least in the past) to tackle the challenges faced by the tertiary education sector.

The global education landscape is evolving at a lightening pace especially with modern technologies and the web and Mauritius highly needs a higher education act, not one which will give Ministers the right to exert political control over the institutions but one which would help in re-inventing and re-dynamize this important sector of the Mauritian society and economy.

3. How can we sustain an education reform and improvement of the system?

The education ministry should be apolitical and preserve a kind of independence same as institutions like Judiciary and others. In this way we could collectively build a 15-20 yr plan and each appointed Minister by whatever government should have the task to continue the work - with a personal touch of course. Restarting every time the same process make us remain status-quo!

One of the best examples of our education system regressing are the ad-hoc measures of giving tablets to secondary school students without a proper technology plan in place, and second the continuous oscillations in the system of past practices, replacing current ones and vice-versa (Enhancement programme replaced by bridging the gap which was itself a previous programme) – unfortunately no in-depth studies had been conducted prior to introduction of the enhancement programme, and the same applies for its replacement.