‘We shall succeed only when we are convinced that we can always do better’


25-January-2012

Macsuzy Mondon, Minister for Education, Employment and Human ResourcesAs we set out to start the new academic year, it is fitting for me as your minister to share with you the plans and projects of our department.

At the dawn of the New Year, our country welcomed a new national theme “Striving for our Seychelles”.  This powerful theme sets the tone for a year of commitment, hard work, efficiency, excellence in all that we do.  Our country is asking for the maximum from each one of us.  In his message for the New Year 2012, President James Michel stated, “We will need to increase productivity.  We need to have new work ethics.  We will need to become more efficient in all that we do.  We have to become more innovative and creative”. Unquote.

We need to join forces together and strive for our Seychelles.
To enable this new kind of thinking to permeate our daily actions and to help us adopt a new way of doing business, it is important that we look back and be pleased about what we have managed to achieve during 2011, recognise what did not work for us and be ready to change for the better.

Infrastructure
The government will continue to invest in school infrastructure to ensure that education is delivered in the best possible conditions; however, it is important that we teach our students and the community as a whole to protect and respect the facilities in their care. We have to strive throughout 2012 to educate them so that they take ownership of the institutions in their district and community.

Infrastructure 2012
Two new primary schools will be constructed in 2012 namely:
• Glacis primary school
• Ile Perseverance primary school

National Institute of Health and Social Studies (NIHSS)
The NIHSS will during the first quarter of 2012 move to North East Point.  Renovation and refurbishment work is being undertaken on the Ex- North East Point Hospital to accommodate the students and staff of NIHSS while the new Institute for Health & Social Sciences will be under construction.

Cascade primary school
Major reconstruction and restoration work will be undertaken on Cascade Primary School. This will be done on a phased basis, as students will have to remain on site while work is in progress.

Pointe Larue and Beau Vallon secondary schools
Major maintenance work will continue on Beau Vallon and Pointe Larue secondary schools

Mont Fleuri primary school/crêche
Work on Mont Fleuri crêche has been completed.  Crêche pupils will move to their new classrooms next month. Mont Fleuri primary school has now become a four-stream school.

Other maintenance work
Other maintenance work will also be carried out at other secondary schools during the course of the year.
An assessment is being done on all the town schools to establish future needs and expansions. As a result work will be undertaken on all the schools as required as from this year.


Curriculum/exams/assesments
Our mandate as educational institutions is to provide quality education and training to all our students through the good implementation and delivery of the curriculum and programmes by teachers and lecturers. The National Curriculum is undergoing review as part of the Education Reform; hence, numerous initiatives and innovations will be gradually introduced.

Reform in secondary school structure
The secondary school structure and curriculum is under review and changes are being effected at the level of IGCSE in the Science subject options. Pure sciences will be offered instead of Coordinated Science as of this year and combined science will remain as an option.  The provision for a review in terms of the number of IGCSE subjects a student may be registered for will be made in the context of the new Assessment Policy Framework which is being finalised and will be implemented in 2013.

Records of achievement
The Records of Achievement (ROA) of students was first introduced in all S4 & S5 in 2005. Now that the ROA has been institutionalised and in the context of the Education Reform, provisions are being made to introduce ROA at cycle 4 i.e. S1 to S3.
I am therefore pleased to announce that Records of Achievement will be implemented at S1-S3 on a pilot basis in all secondary schools starting from term 2.

Innovation
In 2012 new reform actions will be implemented in all Educational Institutions and there will be a need to sustain and consolidate progress. Past experience has shown that initiatives and innovations need to be embedded into the culture of institutions. Innovation is an evolutionary on-going process. Innovation is leaders doing extraordinary things in their institutions. It is about teachers doing amazing things for the students in their classrooms.

I am delighted to announce that the Department of Education is this year launching an Award for all educational institutions. This award will provide the platform for innovation and growth as well as consolidation of actions emanating from the Education Reform.

We need to pull our innovative thinkers together and find solutions to the many challenges in Education today.
It is in this context that we will also be setting an Education Planning Council within the Department. This Council will bring together policy makers and key stakeholders in Education.

Citizenship Education
As individual freedom grows, civic responsibilities increase. Citizenship Education will feature as a separate subject on the schools time table this year. Citizenship Education Programme will be implemented in all S1 and S2 in the secondary schools as of the first school term and in S3, S4 and S5 as of term two 2012.

Meanwhile work is in progress to finalise the programme for S3 to S5 and post secondary institutions.

Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
The Technical Vocational Education and Training programme (TVET) implemented in S4 last year will continue in S5 this year.  Provisions are being made in schools to provide the necessary facilities for implementation of the programme. Work will also start on the entire TVET curriculum at the secondary level.

Changes are being effected in the management structure of the secondary school.  The TE/Arts/IT combination is now changed to TVET/IT and will also encompass Technology Enterprise (TE). This change is important to give TVET its rightful status in the secondary school landscape. At this point I would like to command all our post secondary institutions for accommodating the students. I am pleased that links between secondary and post-secondary are being established and I hope that this will materialise in other areas such as Careers Guidance. Post-secondary institutions will need to pay particular attention to training for employment from now on.

Close involvement of the industry in areas such as curriculum content, training, and internship opportunities, to ensure up-to-date curricula in line with industry requirements.

Modular and flexible learning options that allow for an integration of the learning experience in their work.
Students who complete post-secondary education must be equipped with skills valued by employers as well as with entrepreneurial skills required for self employment.

Celebrating teachers
Too often the general public as well as stakeholders in education spend time criticising teachers and education. Listening to people talk, one would think that nothing good is coming out of our public education and our teachers in the public school.

Very often such talk is even carried by our own educators and leaders.  Such negative press can be very demotivating for teachers who, amidst all the challenges, conscientiously dedicate their lives to make a difference in the lives of others.

Schools and educators seem to be responsible for everything that goes wrong with our young people. Such critics often neglect to mention that teachers work with a community and from that community comes the students with all their potential, dreams, flaws and broken hearts.  The ministry wishes to consider what teachers really do with those students, parents and community and I am pleased to announce that we will launch a project this year under the theme “Celebrating Teachers”.

We want to publish a compilation of local teachers’ narratives of the positive changes they have made during the course of their teaching career and the difference they have made in the lives of so many individuals. Through this publication teachers will be invited to reflect on their experiences. These may include experiences on how they have positively affected the life of a student or group of students, parent, another teacher or a community.

There is no better way to celebrate teachers’ contributions than by sharing them with the rest of society.

Message
As we forge our way to conquer the challenges of the new academic year, it is fitting for us to once more cast a glance on the philosophy of this year’s national theme. We are all being called upon to give our maximum and to walk the extra mile for Seychelles.

As we let ourselves be guided by the powerful ideals of the theme, let us reflect on our practice and our purpose. Let us all be realistic in all our endeavours for we shall succeed only when we are convinced that we can always do better.

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