Education minister conducts first official visit to SBSA |06 February 2023
The Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin, accompanied by a delegation from the ministry’s Headquarters, conducted his first official visit to the Seychelles Business Studies Academy on Friday morning.
This visit was welcomed by the governing board, management, staff and students as it gave the academy the chance to showcase its achievements to the minister as well as bring forward a few points of concern.
Upon his arrival at the academy, the minister and his delegation held a brief meeting with the management team and three representatives of the SBSA governing board who included the vice-chairperson of the board, Jean Raguin.
The board representatives and management team were able to discuss their key points of concern which were mainly lack of space to cater to the academy’s growing needs due to the number of students being enrolled each year, as well as the need for more lecturers to help relieve the huge teaching load on existing lecturers.
There were also discussions on how SBSA has supported the move towards taking onboard more S5 leavers by developing two new programmes – a Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Certificate in Administrative Skills – which were both offered for the first time in 2021, and thus helped the academy take onboard over 50 extra S5 leavers during each of those two years.
The management team pointed out to the minister that despite this increase in programmes on offer, resulting in the increase in the number of students being enrolled, the academy has not been able to recruit new teaching staff due to no new posts being allocated.
The minister made some suggestions about changing the modality of teaching all students at the fixed time of 8am to 3pm and bringing in online/hybrid teaching.
The SBSA team expressed that SBSA is already engaging in flexible teaching with groups of students coming in on different days and at different times where some even start lessons at 10.15am on some days to help with the issue of lack of rooms.
They also explained that SBSA has kept on the practice of hybrid teaching to help with the issue of huge teaching loads.
Further discussions on how to improve on such was supported by the governing board’s vice-chairperson.
After the meeting the delegation toured the campus whereby they viewed some of the facilities and interacted with some of the staff and students.
Later in the morning, all staff and students who were on campus for classes met in the University of Seychelles theatre where the Quality Assurance Officer, Vanesa Finesse, gave a brief presentation on the achievements of the academy in relation to performance results. She showed how the performance of students have continuously improved over the past 2 years, explaining how the number of learners graduating with a ‘Distinction’ after 3 years of study have been on a continuous rise and has doubled from 4 to 8 over the two years.
Mrs Finesse’s presentation was followed by the minister’s intervention with the students where he commended them on being such presentable students and helping their academy shine.
Minister Valentin expressed his pleasure to have seen such happy-looking and settled students around campus and urged them to continue showcasing their love for their academy by wearing their uniform proudly, striving to perform well and engaging in constructive extra-curricular activities.
As the new motto for 2023 defines: ‘Fer Lekol Gou’.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the visit.
Text & photos contributed