State-of-the-art touch screens to boost learning at Grand Anse Praslin schools |29 May 2023
Teaching and learning is expected to take a different approach at the Grand Anse Praslin primary and secondary schools now that they have both received interactive touch screens through the ‘District Adoption Programme’.
The donation of the two interactive touch screens were facilitated by the intervention of two Seychelles honorary consuls – Jana Stefankova (Czech Republic) and Farhad Vladi (Germany- Hamburg).
These state-of-the-art touch screens are expected to greatly enhance the learning and teaching experience for both students and teachers.
The ‘District Adoption Programme’, is an initiative of the Foreign Affairs department in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government & Community Affairs. Implemented in October 2022 during the biennial honorary consuls conference, the programme gave honorary consuls the opportunity to visit the 26 districts of the three main islands and engage in discussions with the district authorities. The aim of this exercise was to invite the consuls to ‘Adopt a district’. It enabled them to understand the needs of the communities and create a partnership with their adopted districts.
The outgoing district administrator for Grand Anse Praslin, Michael Jean-Louis, was the instrumental person behind the realisation of this project. He retraces how it all began.
“When I joined the school council a while back, I was shocked by the school results in comparison to those back in the days when I was myself a student. So these screens came to mind as students these days are visual and I believe these screens can make a difference in teaching and learning in this day and age. Basically I promised the council that I will ensure to get these screens.”
Mr Jean-Louis tried to knock on a few doors for donations but due to the elevated price of such devices his attempts were unsuccessful.
When he learned about the ‘Adopt a district’ initiative, he thought that this would be the ideal opportunity to realise this project. So on their visit to Praslin, Mr Jean-Louis brought the honorary consuls to the schools and explained the raison d’être behind the projects which they agreed to.
“I would like to thank all parties involved in the final realisation of this project. Although I was the one who initiated it, it was a group effort to finally have it come to fruition. From the Cargo des Iles who helped to transport the very delicate screens to Praslin with much care, the cemetery staff who helped carry the very heavy screens up the stairs to their respective rooms and others. This is my gift to the Grand Anse Praslin community as I leave office,” Mr Jean-Louis said.
It was the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, and the Minister for Local Government & Community Affairs, Rose-Marie Hoareau, who officially handed over the interactive screens to Ian Collie, Grand Anse Praslin secondary school’s head teacher and Lina Lesperance, Grand Anse Praslin primary school’s head teacher while the honorary consuls followed through live streaming.
Mr and Mrs Vitezslav Machacek, originally from the Czech Republic but currently residing in Seychelles, were the ones who funded the screens worth R220,000 and they also followed through live streaming while Herve Chang-Yunn from FETCH (Pty) Limited, facilitated the shipment logistics, installation and sponsored two Logitech cameras worth R27,600. Praslinois Peter Pomeroy sponsored both schools an unlimited internet package for a one-year period.
Mr Chang-Yunn was present for the handing over ceremony which was held at the Praslin secondary school in the presence of teachers, students and other stakeholders.
Minister Radegonde thanked the honorary consuls and all stakeholders for the very first project to come to fruition under the ‘Adopt a District Programme’.
“This donation represents an enhanced learning and skill-development opportunity in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the students, as well as their teachers who are the primary facilitators of learning. Against the backdrop of an advancing technological environment across the globe, it is imperative that we adopt smarter and more effective ways to ensure that our educators have the tools to provide our learners with a well-integrated quality education,” Minister Radegonde expressed.
On her part, Minister Hoareau also thanked all stakeholders for the role played in the project.
“Today’s event is very symbolic as it contributes to a shift from traditional to advanced technological teaching and learning methods, in line with the Ministry of Education’s strategic plan going forward.
“The management and students of both schools will no doubt welcome the gift of the two screens, as it will allow them to diversify their current teaching methods, which will surely bring added interest on the part of the students. Education is a key ingredient in creating thriving and sustainable communities as it provides individuals with necessary knowledge and skills, in order to become successful and responsible citizens.”
The head teachers for both schools were very grateful for the donation which they believe will contribute significantly to innovative teaching and learning, allow teachers to develop new methods of delivering lessons and incorporate real time multimedia content. It will also make room for remote learning and online classes which can be presented by teachers from other schools to compensate the lack of teachers especially at secondary school level.
At the end of the ceremony, the attendees were given a brief presentation on the various functions of the screens.
Text : Nadia Bedier
Photos: Romano Laurence