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World Education Forum |25 August 2021

World Education Forum

Seychelles’ free education for all policy has earned recognition worldwide as the country is ranked as the top African nation with the best education system

Seychelles has best education system in Africa


By Gerard Govinden


Seychelles’ free education for all policy has earned recognition worldwide as the country is ranked as the top African nation with the best education system right now.

The country is rated 69.3 points in terms of education by the World Education Forum. And by this virtue, Seychelles has the best education system in Africa and is the only African country in the top 50 rated education system globally.

Seychelles occupies 43rd position globally ahead of countries like Ukraine, Hungary, Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to

Much of the advancement of education in the country has been credited to the Seychelles government. It was former President France Albert Rene, who took power through a coup d’Etat on June 5, 1977, who paved the way for free and compulsory education for all Seychellois as from 1978 onwards. He also advocated for a new and equitable social order, providing for equal rights for all Seychellois, free health care, decent housing, a safety net for the more vulnerable members of our society, and protection for our children and the elderly.

Over the years, the education sector has benefited from the lion’s share of the budgetary allocation as the Seychelles government has spent between 9 and 19% of its total expenditure on education as a national priority to cater for the 13 levels of schooling ‒ crèche year one to secondary five ‒ available to all children. Many also continue through post-secondary school until the age of 18 and some 19.

In fact, Seychelles is the only African country that has been able to reach the feat of ‘Education for All’, a goal set by the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

This was reported in 2014 and Seychelles met all six of the goals outlined by the Education for All initiative directed by Unesco.

The six Education for All goals are:

  • To improve early childhood care and education,
  • To ensure that all children have access to free compulsory primary education,
  • To meet the learning needs of young people and adults,
  • To achieve a 50 percent improvement in levels of adult literacy,
  • To achieve gender equality in education by 2015,
  • To improve all aspects of the quality of education, particularly in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

And since September 2009, Seychelles also started to offer tertiary education following the setting up the University of Seychelles.

A total of 38 African countries among the 140 countries with the best education systems based on skills development were ranked by the World Education Forum.

Among the criteria for the report were the general level of skills of the workforce, the quantity and quality of education each of these countries possesses, possession of standard academic facilities, research, development of digital literacy, interpersonal skills, and the ability to think critically and creatively.

All these are factors that rank Seychelles as the best country in Africa considering individual educational systems.

According to the World Education Forum, Seychelles’ smallness and population of less than 100,000 “makes possible for education to be uniformly circulated around the country”.

While Education Minister, Dr Justin Valentin, did not comment on the ranking, former leaders within the education sector have told Seychelles NATION that “education in Seychelles has been distinguished by a comprehensive, co-educational or attended by nearly 100% of the children in the age group of 4 to 16 years old”.

They noted that the government of Seychelles through the Ministry of Education has over the years endeavoured to deliver a high level of education to all its citizens as per its mandate despite the myriad challenges.

“The Ministry of Education, cognisant of its important role in nation building, charted the way forward to bring about positive changes to the educational landscape through a series of educational reforms and programmes both local and international such as the Education For ALL (EFA), Education for sustainable development goals (SDGs) which have all contributed in ensuring that the level of education remains accessible, equitable and of a high standard.

“The School Improvement Programme (SIP) introduced in 1995 brought about a new turning point in education. It was introduced with the aim of promoting good teaching and learning, effective school leadership, effective teachers and schools and consequently positive learning outcomes. Over the years, schools have been empowered to become more innovative as they develop a culture of self-evaluation and enquiry, development planning and strategic planning skills and the ability to deliver ongoing professional development initiatives,” they add.

In its endeavour to develop and sustain school improvement initiatives, government through the Ministry of Education invested immensely in capacity building of school leaders and teachers.

“Our primary and secondary schools are being managed by highly qualified professionals. Training of teachers to diploma and higher levels and professional training are ongoing for school leaders. The Education Reform 2009/2010 made way for the implementation of a series of policy decisions in various sectors of the school systems namely early childhood level, school governance, pastoral care system, secondary education, and quality of teaching and learning. The 2009/2010 reform set the platform for the first Education Medium Term Strategic Plan 2013- 2017 which was ‘A roadmap for the further transformation of the education process to achieve quality lifelong education for all and improve national sustainable development,” noted the former leaders.

They added: “Achieving the desired outcomes in education is a very long process. It takes a combination of strategies, capable human resource, sustained finances, political will, enthusiastic students and supportive parents and strong community support. Over the years the ministry of education has made great investments in all those areas and is gradually reaping the fruits of the hard labour. At the core of it all are dedicated teachers, students who are committed to their studies, supportive parents and a positive community partnership.”

Second in Africa is South Africa (84th on global education system), followed by Mauritius, Tunisia, Kenya, Algeria, Ghana, Egypt, Namibia and Libya.

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