STA students set for final year in Ireland get air tickets



The STA students proudly show their air tickets in the presence of Mr Moncherry and Mrs Pillay

The tickets were presented to them at the National Human Resource Development Council (NHRDC) offices in the presence of their parents or guarantors a well as STA and Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) officials.

 The students –10 girls and three boys – have over the past three years studied sustainable tourism, economics, accountancy, business law, management principles and resource management.

On the practical side, they have also been involved in cookery, front office, housekeeping and food & beverage.

 They have also served on several attachments at some top hotels in Seychelles and in Mauritius.

They will be accompanied on the trip to Ireland’s Shannon College by STB’s general manager tourism development Peter Moncherry.

The induction to Shannon will be on September 5 and studies begin on September 10.

Congratulating the students before presentation of the air tickets, NDRDC chief executive Margaret Pillay said they “have travelled on three years of life already and the next one will be the crucial one.”

She said “learning is an adventure. There will be tough times, but you must keep going and in the end you’ll be successful.” She urged them to capitalise on their strong points and seek help for their weak ones.

She noted that learning is an active process and the students should not expect others to open their minds for them.

 Mrs Pillay also advised the students not to allow social activities to overtake their studies.

 She reminded them they will be on their own. Lecturers give you the basic, but expect you to do your own research. Nobody will be babysitting you,” she said.

She also reminded the students that Ireland is not Seychelles and they should adapt to the cultural differences, climate and other specificities there.

Mrs Pillay told the parents that she understood their happiness, but also their anxiety, but was sure that their children will make them proud and return to contribute to Seychelles’ economic development.

Speaking on the bonding agreement – which parents/guarantors were required to sign – Agnes Constant of the NHRDC, who is also the desk officer for the STA course,  said this binds the students, on completion of their 10-month course at Shannon to return home and work for a minimum four years.

Those discontinuing the course or not returning to Seychelles on completion for any reasons, besides medical grounds, will be liable to refund the full costs to the Seychelles government.
Government is paying for the air tickets, tuition at Shannon and giving the students stipends of 500 euros monthly to pay for their accommodation and food. They are initially also receiving various extra allowances to cover cost of books, uniforms, travel insurance and visa requirements.

The students may obtain attachments from hotels wishing to employ them, but these may be in Ireland, UAE, Mauritius and Seychelles.

  In all cases, students must remain in contact with the NHRDC and get its approval. No return air ticket to Mahe will be issued until completion of the full course and approved hotel attachment.

Mr Moncherry said it has cost the government a lot to fund the course and the students should consider themselves lucky to have made the grades.

He recalled that the first cohort to go to Shannon who returned home this year, included two Seychellois who came out top of their class.

Mr Moncherry said he expects those leaving now, to do just as well.
“We have a lot of trust in you,” he said.

Mr Moncherry said the STA is consulting the NHRDC and the Seychelles hoteliers to work out an attractive package to returning graduates, to motivate them and allow the tourism industry to continue growing.

Rose-May Payette, a graduate from Shannon College, shared her experiences there with them.

The 13 are Valerie Petumber, Stephanie Marie, Nelly Chetty, Federika Confait, Sherelle Choppy, Dina Duprès, Geneviève Léon, Vanessa Karakwu, Ursula Esparon, Loe-Anne Rath, Aaron Raoul, Jean-Marc Larue and Charles Etienne.