SITE celebrates its 5th anniversary | 03 October 2019
To celebrate its fifth anniversary and Teachers’ Week, the students and teachers of SITE (Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education) organised two open days to showcase their work.
For this occasion SITE also published a souvenir magazine which showcases its achievements and memorable engagements over the years in line with their core values.
The opening ceremony which was held yesterday at SITE was attended by principal secretaries Dr Odile De Commarmond and Dr Linda Barallon; Georges Tirant, chairperson of SITE governing board; the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Development at the University of Seychelles (UniSey), Joëlle Perreau; the director of SITE, Rosianna Jules; teachers and aspiring teachers.
During the two days SITE is opening its door to the public, to future teachers, to current and future partners and to all who believe in quality education and in our commitment to keep providing this generation and those to come with qualified teachers ready to educate our youth.
The theme that has been chosen for this occasion is ‘Valoriz travay dir nou bann ansennyan’, which is in line with the national theme for this year. Teaching is that one profession that creates all others and this theme calls upon all to value this noble profession and the hard work and dedication of the teachers who not only play their role as educators, but also as counsellors, nurses, doctors, parents, pastors, etc.
Mrs Jules noted that “this theme is also well fitted for SITE as our institution is also in its 5th year of operation. It has not been an easy journey but so much has been accomplished since 2014. But, we cannot celebrate SITE without also acknowledging its forerunner, the National Institute of Education (NIE), as this year also marks 20 years since the enrolment of its first group of learners back in February 1999”.
She further said that “for this year we acknowledge the hard work of our teachers and students. We are proud of what we have achieved so far as a team. As part of our strategic plan we launched last year, we have introduced voluntary training for in-service teachers not holding a diploma. From 17 academic staff when we started, we now have 24 academic staff and we started with only one group of students graduating but we managed to get more students. We have also trained students together with UniSey students at degree level. We have proven to be ‘La Reine pedagogique’ and ‘Le Roi artistique”. The students have won different competitions starting with the Carnaval de Victoria in 2015. But we also acknowledge our challenges; we still have a lot to do to establish ourselves as a solid institution. And with the support of our staff and students we will be able to do that. We keep asking the youth to join the teaching profession. I call on the teachers to be exemplary models for their students so that these youths can consider joining the teaching world”.
In 2014, the Aspiring Teacher Programme was launched under the guidance of Merida Delcy. Yesterday she received a special award for all her hard work in establishing such a programme.
“We need teachers for Seychelles. Can we think of a Seychelles not having any teachers? That was my concern some years back and we went in schools to talk about the noble profession. We were able to attract some youths and we have to continue in the same line,” said Mrs Delcy.
One of the graduates and best student from the Aspiring Teacher Programme, Jeanine Raforme, related her journey. “My journey at SITE has been a rollercoaster with many ups and downs moments of doubts and triumphs. There were times when I felt like I wouldn’t make it when I thought about all the pressures and stress from the assignments deadlines, but, through dedication, hard work and determination, I persevered and thrived. Throughout my journey I have acquired many skills such as managing a class of over 20 diverse little beings, ushering, leadership and so much more.”
Three young students of Mont Fleuri, La Digue and Plaisance secondary – Misael, Shirin and Laurent – told our newspaper that they always wanted to become teachers as they want to help inculcate something good in other people’s lives.
Christopher Battin, a second-year student at SITE for a diploma in Secondary Education, shared with us that “My first job was always to be a teacher. Once I completed my IGCSE, I followed a special A-level programme and in 2016 there was no cohort to start the diploma course. So I had to start teaching at Pointe Larue secondary and I also attended SITE on a part-time basis. After two years we finally got a cohort to start the diploma. I encouraged men to join the teaching field. We lack men in this field and despite all the challenges, you get a good reward at the end”.
Mona Dodin is a singer and artist. “I love children and I want to help them fulfil their dreams. My first job was not to become a teacher but I finally ended up choosing teaching after working with children. Currently I am in year one in the Diploma of Arts. It is a two and a half-year programme where you learn about drama, music, literature, singing and drawing. So far so good!”
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the open day yesterday.