Seychelles Partners in Learning (PiL) Forum-Winners’ profiles


13-June-2012

Ms Brutus and Ms AlbertElvina Brutus and Lynn Albert from Anse aux Pins primary school, who were awarded second place, and Marie-Chantale Nicole from Beau Vallon secondary school who came in third position for their innovative projects in the Seychelles Partners in Learning (PiL) Forum will represent Seychelles at the Middle East and Africa PiL Forum in Morocco later this year.

Ms Brutus has been a teacher assistant for the past sixteen years and her dream is to pursue her studies in the education field to become a fully qualified teacher.  She enjoys working with children aged between three and five years.  She has a passion for the arts and considers herself to be a creative and innovative person.

Ms Brutus who has been working at crèche level at Anse aux Pins primary school since 1996, says that she has never had the opportunity to use ICT in teaching before but wanted to participate in the competition.  The project was her idea but she realised that she needed help to integrate the ICT component in the lesson and therefore brought her colleague on board.

Ms Albert has been a teacher working with pupils from crèche and primary two level for nine years.  Teaching was not her first choice of career, but she was encouraged by her mother, who is also working in the education field, and she now finds that she enjoys what she is doing, and has the patience required for working with pupils at the early childhood level.
 
The project entitled “Working With Numbers” aimed at helping the crèche pupils understand and master the formation of numbers, using the three types of lines - horizontal, vertical and curved lines. The lesson initially started off with mastering the formation of the number five.

Initially the pupils needed help to familiarise themselves with the classmate PCs (CMPCs) and once they got started, Ms Brutus says, it was a joy to watch the excitement and delight on their faces when they were using the CMPCs. 

The pupils could interact with the learning tool and they could grasp the techniques faster than if the teachers were using the conventional methods.  Pupils were able to use play as part of the learning process; they visited other classrooms and went outside to take pictures using the CMPCs.

Ms Albert says that she did not find it challenging to take on the project with Ms Brutus.  She, however, felt that it was a constraint for them to compile the information to complete the project, as they had to work after hours and on weekends.
 
According to Ms Albert, working on such a project has given her some baggage and she hopes to be able to work on something on her own next year.

Ms Brutus said that while they were working on the project, some of their colleagues were curious about what they were doing.  They received a lot of help and support from the management of the school. 

The two teachers received the award for the “Teacher as an Innovator and Change Agent” Category, and the fact that their project won second place in the Seychelles PiL Forum was a surprise to most of their colleagues.  It has sparked off a lot of interest and questions from other teachers at the school who wish to participate in next year’s forum.

Mrs Nicole has been in the teaching profession since 2008 and she works at the Beau Vallon secondary school teaching social economics to students from secondary one to five.

Mrs Nicole

Her project, “Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy”, which came third at the forum, also received the award for learning that extended beyond the classroom and addressed real world issues.  The issue she has chosen to explore for the project is featured in the health and welfare topic of the curriculum.  She also conducted some research and found interesting statistics on the increase in pregnancy among teenagers in Seychelles.

Mrs Nicole says that at first it was a challenge for her to use ICT in her lessons, but found that with the new approach students became enthusiastic; they were more interested and focussed, which made it easier to manage the classroom because students were eager to learn on their own and the lesson became more student-centered.

Her project involved the use and promotion of the Youth Health Centre.  The school has created a club with the help of the Peer Counsellor to share information and hold talks in other schools on the issue of teenage pregnancy.

Mrs Nicole says that the school management has been very helpful and helped with contacts with outside agencies and young mothers.  She is also thankful for the support from the counsellor and the ICT teachers and her other colleagues who are still congratulating her on winning.

“The experience is worthwhile and I encourage other teachers in the technical area to make use of ICT, as it improves students’ attention.  More knowledgeable students can assist the less able ones, which helps the teacher to better manage the classroom,” she says.

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