Ocean Festival art and creative writing competition | 26 November 2019
Mont Fleuri, International School clinch prizes for best schools
As part of the activities to celebrate the third Seychelles Ocean Festival, schoolchildren and schools were yesterday rewarded for their involvement in the festival’s art and creative writing competition.
Following the prize-giving ceremony, the students’ works were on display in an exhibition which was launched by the principal secretary for environment Alain De Commarmond.
The ceremony, held at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher’s Education, was also graced by the presence of the Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Jeanne Simeon; Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Didier Dogley; chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Sherin Francis and other key government officials.
The chosen theme for this year’s art and creative writing was ‘Discover the wonders of the sea, our ocean mammals’ which focuses on the marine mammals as magical marvels of the world and on the importance of protecting the ocean ecosystem and biodiversity.
The Seychelles’ waters are a haven for around 25 species of permanent and migratory marine mammals including dugongs, spinner dolphins and the gigantic whale sharks.
Mont Fleuri primary school came out as the best primary school in the competition while the same award for secondary school went to the International School Seychelles.
The awards for ‘Best Seychelles Ocean Festival School’ recognise schools which have demonstrated extra effort through their involvement.
Only one professional centre, the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (Siad), took part in the competition and only submitted entries for artworks.
For primary schools, Mitch Lozé from La Retraite primary won the first prize in the poem category while the firstprize for the story category went to Dane Gerry from Mont Fleuri primary and the first for artwork went to Haadiya Korumtollee from International School.
Runner-ups and those who came out third also received prizes in their respective categories.
Nine-year-old Mitch Lozé, who won with his poem ‘Lemonn parfe’, had the opportunity to read out his poem and later told Seychelles NATION that he received help and support from his parents to write his poem.
As for secondary schools, first prize in the poem category went to Beatrice Estico from Independent School, Whitney Padayachy from English River secondary won the first prize in the story category and Brandon Lucas from Plaisance secondary came out on top for the artworks category.
Brandon, an S4 student, said that he is very satisfied with his work because it reflects how aquatic mammals are surviving in the oceans.
Meanwhile, for post-secondary institutions, Emma Soopramanien from Siad won the first prize with her artwork and her two other colleagues who submitted their works in the contest received special mentions.
In his opening address on the occasion, PS De Commarmond, noted that aquatic mammals are the most threatened species in the world, with some being categorised as critically endangered.
These marine mammals are often the prey of exploitative activities such as illegal fishing and poaching, and are sometimes accidentally caught in fishing nets.
“In Seychelles, sea mammals have full protection under the law and the Indian Ocean is also, in principle, a whale sanctuary with our massive exclusive economic zone of over 1.3 million square metres which contains one of the richest biodiversity regions in the world. Our waters are essentially a haven for marine mammals,” he stated.
He further stressed on the importance of protecting our oceans, and sent out a plea for everyone to keep our beaches clean and not to leave behind plastic materials such as balloons.
The winners in a souvenir photograph with guests (Photo: Jude Morel)