Commonwealth awards crown our achievements in education


10-September-2012

Mrs Choppy and the team who worked on the Aprann Lir Avek Papiyon project

Seychelles entered the competition with two projects – Aprann Lir Avek Papiyon and an environment project on Rain Water Harvesting.

The award competition took place during the 18th conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in Mauritius from August 29-31.

A high-level delegation lead by Education Minister Macsuzy Mondon attended the conference.
Seychelles was among 10 finalists for the award among 123 entries.

Shirley Choppy, chief executive of the Early Childhood Care and Education Centre in the Ministry of Education who presented the Reading with Butterfly project – Aprann Lir Avek Papiyon – and Jeannette Larue, the coordinator for Environmental Education at the Ministry of Education, have both expressed their joy and satisfaction with the awards.

“Taking part in the competition was an opportunity for us to show other countries what we are doing and to see what other countries are doing and share experiences of best practices, and also choose certain components of the chosen projects to adapt and apply to the local context. This would no doubt help us in improving the quality of education we provide,” said Mrs Choppy.

She believes the project was chosen because of its innovativeness and originality as it has been designed in a very comprehensive way comprising very colourful and attractive materials.

She said most importantly the project has been developed by a team of local educators with no foreign input. Furthermore, a group of over 300 teachers in the early childhood level, has also been trained to run the project. She said it also includes a research component which was well commended as it measures the impact and efficiency of the project.

“Seychelles is among very few countries using its mother tongue as medium of instruction to have reached that level in developing teaching materials”, she pointed out.

“To feature among the 10 finalists from 123 entries shows that after its success nationally the project has also received international recognition which shows the level of our success in early childhood development and education,” Mrs Choppy noted.
 
She visited the Early Childhood Care and Educational Authority in Mauritius and gave a presentation on the project demonstrating how a lesson using the programme is taught and for this she also got a personal award.

With regard to the project on rain water harvesting, Ms Larue said apart from showing Seychelles’ achievements in environment education it also crowns all the years of hard work to bring it to a higher level.

Ms Larue shows off the awards won for the rain water harvesting project

She noted that Seychelles was the only country which entered an environment education project in the competition adding that most other entries were related to access to education, a stage we went beyond a long time ago.

“It is a great honour for all the people who have been involved and show true commitment all along that environment education in school is very important,” said Ms Larue.

Like Mrs Choppy Ms Larue was also invited by the Mauritian education minister to give various presentations on the project in both state and private primary and secondary schools.

She said the interest shown was overwhelming and several countries want our help to carry out similar projects in their schools.

Both Mrs Choppy and Ms Larue said a lot of work awaits them as a lot of contacts have been established with other countries which want to partner with us so as to learn from our expertise.

The Commonwealth Best Practice Awards are held every three years during the Education Ministers’ Conference to celebrate and promote new and innovative education projects from across the Commonwealth.

They must address at least one of eight action areas which range from achieving universal primary education, eliminating gender disparities in education to mitigating the impact of HIV on education systems.

The action areas for awards, must align with the Commonwealth's education priorities, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Education for All (EFA) goals.

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