MNAs to work for betterment of West Mahé schools



Following a visit of the Anse Boileau secondary school yesterday morning, members of the National Assembly (MNAs) representing the West Mahé districts of Anse Boileau, Grand Anse and Port Glaud have promised to work for the betterment of all schools in their region.

They have however stressed that their role is not to dictate what should be done, but to rather collaborate with other partners in order to help solve existing problems.

Honourables Patrick Pillay of Anse Boileau who is also the Speaker of the National Assembly, Waven William of Grand Anse and Egbert Aglae of Port Glaud had the opportunity yesterday to tour the region’s only secondary school and discuss with head teacher Jina labiche and her management on present preoccupying issues and how to find solutions to them.

Also present were the Anse Boileau district administrator (DA) Valcy Naiken and the chairperson of the School Council Roger Alphonse.

After the visit, the three MNAs expressed the wish to work with the school’s management and the Ministry of Education in order to help bring solutions to persisting problems.

Among those, they have identified imminent tasks such as improving students’ discipline, providing furniture and other equipment to classrooms where needed, carrying out maintenance works, preventing vandalism and thefts, preventing drugs from entering the school’s compound and recruiting teachers to fill vacant posts.

As a solution to this last challenge which he says is a national crisis, Speaker Pillay - himself a former teacher and Minister for Education - has proposed that retired teachers come back to give a helping hand and that new ones are recruited from neighbouring countries, including those from the South African Development Community (SADC).

“Something has to be done immediately. It is unacceptable for a school to start the year without furniture. We have to think outside the box and it cannot be business as usual. As, if nothing is done, the situation will deteriorate more by the end of the year. Quality of education will drop while indiscipline will rise. As for lack of teachers, it is a crisis affecting not only Anse Boileau. It is a national crisis and this is again unacceptable,” Honourable Pillay said.

For a better management of our schools, the Speaker of the National Assembly has also called on the Ministry of Education to “stop playing musical chairs” with the head teachers and to rather keep them in their posts for at least three to five years.

“A child should not only come to school but to come to school to learn,” reiterated Honourable Aglae when he reminded that their role as MNAs is to help the schools deliver good education to our children, while ensuring their welfare and security.

He however emphasised that this is also the responsibility of the whole community, including students and parents who sometimes tend to be overprotective to them.

“As a community we must safeguard the integrity of our schools. They are our schools and we must all play our role in solving any problems they may have,” he said.

On a national note, the Port Glaud MNA added that government should not hesitate to change policies if this is necessary.

His Grand Anse counterpart Waven William also agreed that the country is not necessarily quick enough in providing solutions to problems faced by the schools. Consequently he said, we have to ensure that the Ministry of Education and other relevant agencies react effectively to those challenges.

As the next step in their initiative to work for the improvement of the school environment, the three MNAs have promised to shortly visit the three primary schools in their districts – one in each.

The accompanying photographs show the three MNAs and the school and district’s delegations touring the Anse Boileau secondary school yesterday.





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