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Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) Football for Schools programme |27 March 2023

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) Football for Schools programme

F4S values are great inspirations for other areas of learning, says Education minister


The values instilled in the Football for Schools programme initiated by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association to complement the efforts of educators and advance education outcomes are of great inspiration and are good models that should be incorporated into other areas of learning, such as the arts and culture, Minister for Education Dr Justin Valentin has said.

He was speaking at the launch of a football jamboree which was part of a three-day capacity building course to empower 40 physical education (PE) teachers – 29 males and 11 females – guiding them in managing, delivering and monitoring the Football for Schools programme (F4S) locally.

Prior to Saturday’ jamboree, the 40 PE teachers underwent two days of intensive training ran by Fifa F4S manager Antonio Sanchez and technical consultant Alberto Giacomini.

Officially launched locally on Thursday, the F4S programme which is an initiative of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa), in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), is aimed at contributing to the education, development and empowerment of children.

It seeks to make football more accessible to both boys and girls around the world by incorporating football activities into the education system, in partnership with relevant authorities and stakeholders.

It has been designed to promote targeted life skills and competencies through football and contribute to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) and other priorities.

Locally, the programme will run by the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF), alongside the Ministry of Education, the youth and sports department within the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family, and the National Sports Council (NSC).

Saturday’s jamboree was graced by the presence of President Wavel Ramkalawan who is also the patron of Seychelles football.

Also present were principal secretary for youth and sports Ralph Jean-Louis, Fifa’s F4S programme director Fatimata Sidibe, president of the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) Elvis Chetty, secretary general and chief executive of the SFF Denis Rose, chief executive of the NSC Marc Arissol, members of the diplomatic corps, among other guests.

Minister Valentin explained that values being promoted through the programme are not only sports-related, but are common, everyday life behaviours which when adopted, bring about positive changes in our children, guiding them through a more positive life channel, thus molding them to become good and exemplary future citizens of the country.

On behalf of the SFF, Mr Chetty thanked everyone who helped them to set up the F4S locally, with special mention to President Ramkalawan for his continuous support and encouragement towards the development of sport in the country.

Mr Chetty thanked Minister Valentin for welcoming, and most importantly understanding the aim of the programme which is not only about sports, but also life skills.

He commended the education minister for adopting the different values and incorporating them in other areas of life, and education, all with the aim of boosting the education system, thus creating a positive impact on the children, securing a more positive and brighter future generation.

The F4S programme is guided by a results-based management framework and theory of change, which assumes that developing intrapersonal, interpersonal and cognitive skills amongst learners, in addition to producing gains in knowledge and positive attitudes, will help them to develop life skills and competencies.

If this is done within an enabling, inclusive and caring environment that promotes individual learning and development, along with a combination of football and life skills, the programme has the potential to contribute to individual and community change and consequently to the identified SDGs.

The programme is to also ensure that football is accessible to all learners, without discrimination.

Anyone who wants to play football must know that it is possible to do so through their school or community, using the facilities available in the country.

While the main remit of this programme is to support the provision of football coaching and equipment to schools, Fifa encourages its member associations and in-country partners to recognise the importance of engaging with out-of-school youngsters.

It is to note that the F4S programme is not designed to detract from teaching or classroom time, and it is in fact intended to complement the efforts of educators and advance education outcomes, thus assisting governments.

So far, the F4S programme has attracted 53 countries out of the 211 Fifa’s member states.


Text and photos Roland Duval




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