29th annual Teachers’ Awards ceremony | 04 October 2019
46 teachers honoured
Forty-six teachers were yesterday rewarded for their years of continuous devotion and hard work in the education profession during the 29th annual Teachers’ Awards ceremony held at the ICCS.
The ceremony forms part of the many activities being organised during this year’s Teachers’ Week.
Honoured during the ceremony were 25 teachers who had clocked 25 years in teaching and 20 other teachers were presented with trophies and certificates as they retire from the profession.
Special needs coordinator from Baie Ste Anne primary school, Linda Marie, however took home the prestigious award of the night as the longest serving teacher.
President Danny Faure, Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon and Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Jeanne Simeon presented Mrs Marie with her prizes.
Mrs Marie has served as a teacher for 43 years and counting.
She joined the teaching profession in 1976 when she was 17 years old as a supply teacher after which she joined the Teacher Training College in 1978.
Upon completion of her training, Mrs Marie was posted to the Baie Ste Anne school in 1982 as an early childhood teacher.
According to her teacher’s profile, Mrs Marie’s continued dedication and commitment to her work paid off as she was later appointed studies coordinator in 1999.
She became a special needs coordinator at Baie Ste Anne primary in 2008 and works tirelessly to ensure that each pupil, learning difficulty or not, develop the necessary competencies to improve in their studies.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Mrs Marie explained that teaching had initially not been her first career choice.
“I wanted to go into tourism but my mother was insistent that I join teaching because, as you know back then, teaching was considered a very noble profession. I had to join teaching but I gradually learned to love the profession and the children.”
Mrs Marie expressed that a teacher needs to love their students and to embrace their uniqueness.
“I’m working with children with learning difficulties and I also oversee the centre for children living with disability which is located at Baie Ste Anne primary […] We have to show love to every child and keep in mind that every child is unique.”
Mrs Marie concluded that she would continue to teach until she feels like she cannot anymore.
In her speech for the occasion, Minister Simeon remarked that teachers, some of whom have spent the best part of their lives in education, are an inspiration to others and are deserving of admiration and applause.
She nonetheless noted the importance of making education the business of everyone in community as highlighted in this year’s celebration theme ‘Education: A Shared Responsibility’.
“As a ministry, teacher recruitment, development and retention are the main challenges we are facing today. More so now, that we find ourselves in fierce competition with other sectors of the economy which might appear more appealing to the young people,” Minister Simeon stated.
To address this, she explained that the ministry and the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (Site) will set up an appropriate structure in 2020 to nurture and support the 150 students from S3 to S5 who have joined the Aspiring Teacher programme.
Additionally the Teacher’s Council will also become operational in 2020, aiming at raising the status of the teaching profession by ensuring the commitment of teachers to the higher standards of professional practice.
During the award ceremony, President Faure was also gifted with a token of appreciation for having established education as a national priority.
Similar tokens were presented to Minister Mondon and Minister Simeon.
The award ceremony included various beautiful interludes of songs sung by the teachers’ choir, students’ choir, and Site choir, a poem by the ever entertaining Reuben Lespoir and moments of reflection.