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Education ministry and partners to continue striving for quality education in 2020 | 17 January 2020

Education ministry and partners to continue striving for quality education in 2020

Minister Simeon addressing the gathering (Photo: Jude Morel)

The Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Jeanne Simeon yesterday delivered her official address to mark the start of the new school year.

As per her message, 2020 is expected to be a year in which the ministry, schools, professional centres and other partners in education continue to work together in pursuit of quality education.

Minister Simeon’s message also highlighted the various achievements from 2019 and the upcoming projects and programmes for 2020.

Minister Simeon read out her message during a meeting hosted yesterday at the STC conference room and which was attended by a roomful of senior ministry officials, heads of institutions, school council chairpersons, teachers, students and other stakeholders.

Notable guests for the occasion included Bishop Denis Wiehe and Ambassador for Women and Children Dr Erna Athanasius.

In her message, Minister Simeon drew the attention of all partners involved in the education sector to assist in transforming all of our educational institutions into productive learning centres.

For this to happen, according to the minister, it will require enhanced parental and community involvement so as to hold everyone responsible and accountable for the students’ progress, as well as more creativity and pro-activeness in classrooms.

It is to be highlighted that the ministry’s principle for 2020 remains under the banner of ‘Education: A Shared Responsibility’, as it has been for the last two years.

For 2020, the minister further made a call for school managements, teachers and ministry officials to put more emphasis on service delivery.

“The image that our ministry projects is crucial in this context. Try not to frustrate or make our clients go through a lot of difficulties before they receive the required service. They are important to us and to the work we do. They deserve no less. Let us make 2020 a year when we resolutely decide to take both our individual and institutional responsibility seriously to address this issue and provide quality services,” Minister Simeon noted.

Some of the achievements from last year included the ministry’s new organisational structure, training of 99 teacher assistants, accreditation of the Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA) and the National Institute of Health and Social Studies (NIHSS) and the recognition of Seychelles as a global leader in Early Childhood Care and Development.

Meanwhile with an allocated budget of R944.2 million for 2020, 14.4% higher than 2019’s, the ministry is set to implement and strengthen various initiatives during this new school year.

One of these initiatives is the full implementation of the Renaissance virtual reading project, after its successful pilot in five primary schools last year.

“The results of the pilot showed that students have made great progress in reading. Their reading level had improved and the number of books read was beyond expectations,” Minister Simeon underlined.

In order to boost the levels of literacy among young children, Minister Simeon confirmed that the Renaissance programme would be rolled in out all primary schools throughout this year.

Meanwhile capital projects that are to be undertaken this year include the construction of:

  • La Digue school
  • Anse Royale crèche
  • A new block at Belonie school
  • La Rosière primary school
  • The Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH)
  • The Seychelles Business Studies Academy (SBSA)
  • The Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD)
  • The Technical School for TVET.

This year will also see major works being undertaken to renovate the ministry’s headquarters.

Additionally, Minister Simeon announced that the decentralisation of authority to schools will take place in 2020 in three phases.

As parting words of wisdom for 2020, Minister Simeon advised all partners in education to “not fall victim to complacency and accept the status quo as normal. Let us strategise, let us look for solutions and adopt measures that will bring sustainable improvement and progress”.

All crèche children (both Year 1 and Year 2), pupils in Primary 2 (P2) up to P6 as well as students in Secondary 1 (S1) are expected to resume classes on Monday, January 20.

Classes for pupils in P1 and students in S2 up to S5 will start on Tuesday, January 21.

 

Elsie Pointe

 

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