Partners start promoting campaign on new childcare, early childhood training courses | 19 August 2020
Three partners who have joined forces in an initiative to offer two new recognised training programmes to boost childcare and early childhood development and education, on Monday afternoon launched a campaign to start promoting the two courses to be delivered by Site.
The three partners – the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development represented by its minister Jeanne Simeon and principal secretary for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Education Dr Odile de Commarmond; the Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD) represented by its chief executive Shirley Choppy; and the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (Site) lead by its director Rosianne Jules – met the local press at the education ministry’s headquarters for the launch and to answer questions on the two courses.
The IECD has jointly developed the Certificate for Child Care and Development with Site to be delivered by the latter as from next year with the support of IECD and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development.
Candidates wishing to work as day-care assistants, childminder or assistant childminder can pursue this one-year training course. Apart from in-service childcare providers and staff, this training course is also targeting S5 students as a new programme of study for enrolment in post-secondary institutions in 2021.
The other new training programme in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) to be offered also by Site as from next year is the Certificate in Education for Teacher Assistant. This one-year course is to be offered to candidates aspiring to work as teacher assistants. Upon successful completion of their studies, they will be eligible to be employed to provide support to the classroom teacher especially with literacy and numeracy at P1 and P2 levels. This programme is jointly being undertaken by the education ministry and Site with the support of the IECD.
Both training courses can also be followed on a part-time basis for a period of 18 months.
Commenting on the two courses during the launch, Minister Simeon noted that as per its Strategic Plan 2018-2022, the education ministry remains committed to its training programme to transform education and development of human resource in the education sector with the aim to better improve the education system with the main focus on teaching and learning.
“As per the plan different initiatives have been developed to address teaching and learning namely a new structure set up in 2018 which comprises a new unit -- Teacher Development and Management whose role is to promote teaching and ensure more young Seychellois join the teaching profession to gradually reduce our dependence on the services of foreign teachers,” Minister Simeon highlighted.
She further noted that the two training courses are a pathway to access further teacher training in the future.
Ms Choppy for her part explained that since 2015 the IECD in collaboration with several key partners has been offering a 10-week long pre-registration and education training programme for all non-registered childminders looking after children at home and for any individual who would like to go into the business in the future.
She noted that to date up to 200 childminders have followed the training and received a certificate of attendance so they can register with the IECD.
She noted that as the time has come to review the basic training being offered taking into account all the developments and efforts to harmonise, strengthen and boost the resilience of the sector to better train future educators, the IECD found it necessary to collaborate with Site to develop the Certificate for Child Care and Development which is recognised by the Seychelles Qualifications Authority (SQA).
She noted that as from next year when Site starts offering the course, the IECD will stop providing training for childminders who will all have to enroll on the course with Site in order to qualify for a certificate to register their business.
Giving details on the teacher assistant course, PS de Commarmond explained that to date there are in the education system 234 teacher assistants.
She noted that up to last year when 99 of them followed a certificate level training programme with an early childhood institute in Singapore, the only training they had dated back to 2005.
“We were looking forward to this training course to be delivered by Site to enroll our teacher assistants and we are very happy that the course will start next year,” PS de Commarmond stated. She went on to detail all the other training opportunities open to teacher assistants as well as the salary scheme and packages available to them.
“Once they complete the certificate course, we will encourage them to continue to seize other opportunities to further upgrade themselves,” PS de Commarmond pointed out, noting that the certificate itself is a pathway to further teacher training at diploma level.
Meanwhile Site director Rosianne Jules has further detailed the different components of the two new training courses and entry criteria required.
She noted that the two courses will be delivered alongside all other existing courses that Site is offering and others which are still being developed to be offered probably during the middle of next year or beginning of 2022. These courses include a diploma in physical education and also a course for laboratory technicians.
Ms Jules pointed out that the two courses are great opportunities for retraining considerations for people who have lost their jobs under the present situation in the country and who have an interest in teaching.
The three partners are calling on all potential candidates to come forward and seize the opportunity to further upgrade themselves by enrolling on the two training programmes now that the promotion campaign is out in the different media.