Celebrating 20 years of achievement in education


17-June-2013

Guests interacting with pupils with hearing impairment at Au Cap school during its official opening

Over the last 20 years, education of our youths has taken precedence as the government provides all the necessary tools to ensure that a conducive environment exists to ensure the total development and growth of our children to become the leaders of tomorrow.

The Ministry of Education has tried its utmost to give prominence to childhood education and care as the early years of schooling are crucial in the development of a child.
As a result of this emphasis on early childhood care, it has made it vital to train teachers at this level to ensure that at grassroots, the foundation is sound so as to help the child to be nurtured correctly and appropriately.

At secondary level, the ministry in 2005 moved away from the O-Level international exams to the IGCSE exams with the aim of allowing more students the opportunity to sit for international exams.
The results at these University of Cambridge-prepared exams have been outstanding over the years with very high pass rates enabling students to gain entry into post secondary institutions or tertiary education.

University of Seychelles

Nonetheless, the highlight of our education system has been the opening of the University of Seychelles which was an initiative of President James Michel who is also the chancellor of this high learning centre.

The University of Seychelles’ vision is to be a centre of academic excellence for the future prosperity of the nation

The motto of our university is ‘make a difference for the next generation’ as the country prepares to embrace the communication-oriented future.

The University of Seychelles’ vision is to be a centre of academic excellence for the future prosperity of the nation. It would also serve as a hub for the development of a knowledge-based society.
The university also aspires to strive to create an innovative learning environment relevant to the needs of the country.

It is obvious that one of the reasons to open a university locally was also to cut down on the huge amount of money the country spent to send students overseas for training. Nevertheless, the government still believes in investing in capacity building and it has invested heavily in this domain over the last 30 years.

However, with a locally based university, it will surely mean more students will get the chance to follow high level courses at a lower cost.

Infrastructure and resources

The government is committed to continually invest in infrastructure and only in the last decade 10 new schools have been built, most notably the Perseverance primary school which was officially opened last Friday as part of activities for the National Day celebrations.

Guests touring the premises of the newly built school at Ile Perseverance during its official opening last week. In only the last decade 10 new schools have been built

As part of it principle to leave no child behind, the Ministry of Education has made available facilities at the recently opened Au Cap school to help children with hearing impairment.
Major renovation work is also being undertaken to improve the ethos of the school as well as ensure comfort for both students and staff.

There is still a lot of work to be done to repair school facilities as well as carry out maintenance work on a number of educational establishments.

The country also eagerly awaits the opening of the new Seychelles Tourism Academy facilities which will further enhance training for our tourism industry personnel so as to provide better service.

Resources is also of paramount importance and in a bid to better educate our citizens, the use of computer in schools continues to gather momentum with the e-learning project sponsored by Sheikh Khalifa. The project is progressing well in schools while at secondary level, they have dedicated computer rooms for both teachers’ and students’ use.

To deliver quality education, schools have to be well resourced and the ministry is well aware of the needs in making these resources available so as to make life easier for teaching as well as learning.

Challenges

There are definitely many challenges that lie ahead for the education system such as raising the level of attainment of our students at all levels as this is essential if we are to measure progress.

Another concern of our education system is the shortage of teachers and this continues to hamper learning in our schools. The government last year, as part of the teacher’s day celebration, went on a recruitment drive to attract more youngsters to join this profession and it remains to be seen the impact of this campaign over the coming years.

The level of behaviour of some students has also at times brought bad publicity to our institutions but with the new school behaviour policy, it is hoped that it will help bring about changes as the students are made to be more accountable for their education.

The launch of the school council has been brought about to enhance partnership and relevance to education for children in our schools. Schools and their councils as a result should be able to translate their vision into action, inspiring everyone in the school to perform at a higher level.

Education reform

In fact, the school council notion came about under the education reform of 2009 and 2010 which has brought notable achievement in various areas.

The use of computer in schools continues to gather momentum with the e-learning project sponsored by Sheikh Khalifa

One of the demands of the reform is for more accountability in teaching and learning and education establishments are being urged to aim for quality in education.

The education reform also looks at areas to improve working condition for teachers such as reassessing teachers’ workload while revising the teacher’s scheme of service to offer a more attractive package that commensurate the demand of the profession.

Training of cadres

Our primary and secondary school are being managed by highly qualified professionals. A total of 79 school leaders have been trained on the MA/MBA level between 2002 and 2009 and over 90 middle leaders at advanced level.

The way ahead

There is no doubt that our tiny country with vast ambitions has achieved a lot in the field of education as it braces itself for the next decade to turn our schools into inspiring learning centres equipped to lead our next generation with well thought-out programmes which suit their needs to be well educated citizens.

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