President opens the modern maritime school he promised


Minister Mondon looks on as President Michel unveils the plaque to mark the official opening of the new centre

The new school is so modern that one of the students present when he pledged the new one said “it exceeds our expectations”.

Experts in the field said that the new Maritime Training Centre (MTC) – with electrically driven simulators to demonstrate how real equipment works – is the best equipped in the region and could attract students from abroad who could easily be accommodated in dormitories available there.

When Mr Michel met the students they talked about their studies and asked for better facilities for practical lessons among other things, to which he told them the government was doing its maximum to improve the school environment and to get a new facility saying:

“I am impressed to see the interest of young people in maritime studies and also the number of girls who are interested in a maritime career. I want to encourage them to continue to develop this sector as the second pillar of our economy.”

One of the students who heard him say so was Meggy Gertrude, who went on to qualify and become the school’s outstanding student for 2010, obviously making many proud including Mr Michel, and Education Minister Macsuzy Mondon who yesterday said:

“I would also like to call on past students of the MTC to return and upgrade their qualifications through the higher level courses on offer. I am happy to note that enrolment of girls at the MTC has steadily increased over the last five years.

Moreover, the Outstanding Student for the 2011 academic year was a girl. This trend is very encouraging for promotion of gender parity in a field that was previously dominated by men.”

Speaking yesterday, Miss Gertrude – who told Nation about her plans to study further – thanked “Mr Michel and his government for giving us these beautiful and well equipped buildings with facilities beyond our expectations”.

Mr Michel, who toured the new school, said in a statement that “the MTC campus is truly impressive.  It will become a regional centre of excellence in maritime studies that will benefit many generations of Seychellois in the future.

Guests touring the facilities of the new centre

“I am sure that with these modern facilities and equipment, a greater number of students will benefit from their learning and experience and start a maritime career with greater confidence and knowledge.  “This institution reflects the importance that we place on the development of the key professions that rely on our marine resources, as we strive to create a stronger and more sustainable blue economy.”

In her speech, Mrs Mondon also recalled that during his visit to the Maritime Training Centre in June 2010, “as part of a series of visits to post secondary institutions, President Michel reassured the students that a new Maritime Training Centre will be built for them with proper facilities and modern equipment.

“Today, exactly two years and one week later, the President has delivered on his promise, and I would like on behalf of the MTC students and staff, to thank you Mr President for another great achievement for the youth of Seychelles.  This is indeed another first for Seychelles.”

She said the realisation of such big projects, sometimes take longer than anticipated or adjustments have to be made along the way as we vie for the necessary, but usually scarce resources.

“The new MTC represents a project cost in the region of 65 million Seychelles Rupees, of which 36.6 million were for civil works, 24 million for equipment, 3.2 million for furniture and 1 million for training of trainers,” she said.

Apart from giving extra facilities to cater for an increase in training capacity for over 200 students, the considerable investment is to ensure that the new MTC is well equipped to deal with emerging training needs emanating from environmental factors like climate change, fighting piracy and illegal fishing in our seas, said Mrs Mondon.

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa’s (Badea) Abdelaziz Khelef noted that his bank contributed US4.4 million, adding that Badea hopes to finance new facilities for the Seychelles Tourism Academy and a primary school as well as a crèche on Ile Perseverance.