President Michel’s National Day Address-“Our children: our treasure, our future” at State House meeting


President Michel announced the theme for next year in his 2004 National Day Address on June 18.

At the meeting at State House on Thursday, he said the theme was chosen because “we thought that it was time to give a fresh impetus to how we, as a nation, educate our children and young people to ensure their well-being and development”.

He noted that as a country “we have indeed done, and still do, a lot for our children”.

“Our health, education and social services attest to this,” he said and added that “there is much room for improvement.”

In the National Day Address a month ago the President said that the “more progress and the more we make our mark in the world, the more we need to educate our children and put them on the right track at a very early age”.

He said the first years of a child were the most important in life.

At Thursday’s meeting he asked the ministers, heads of departments and children’s agencies, and NGO representatives present to find out how government could provide more support to day-care centres and make it possible for all districts to have these facilities. He is for more qualified personnel and more resources for the early learning programmes in nurseries and schools.  

Among the issues raised at the meeting were parenting, improving the Seychellois child’s cognitive development from the earliest age, child abuse, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, the Seychellois communal culture in child upbringing, recreational facilities for the youth, research on child development and early introduction to career guidance.

The 2005 theme meeting heard that it was important for society to create the right environment that would provide for the good development of the child up to adulthood.

Mrs Antoinette Alexis, the principal secretary for Social Affairs, has been appointed coordinator of a core group that will work with other agencies and organisations to lay the groundwork for further progress in child education and well-being.

Two ministers, namely Mr Vincent Meriton of Social Affairs and Employment, and Mrs Sylvette Pool of Local Government, Culture and Sports, attended the State House youth meeting.

The National Council for Children (NCC) was represented by Mrs Ruby Pardiwalla. Mr Nirmal Shah and Mr Robert Ah-Weng were from Lungos (Liaison Unit for NGOs) and Care (Committee for Awareness, Resilience and Education against drug and alcohol abuse), respectively.

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