Technical and vocational school planned for Seychelles’ Ile Soleil in 2020
Ile Soleil is a 123,000 square metre reclaimed island built by the Seychelles government at Anse Aux Pins, eastern district of the main island of Mahe. (2020 Development Seychelles Ltd)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A new technical and vocational school is being planned in Seychelles to open by 2020 on Ile Soleil, the man-made island found on the east coast of the main island of Mahe.
The creation of the school was announced by President Danny Faure in his State of the Nation Address last week.
“There is a necessity to better prepare our youth from a young age for them to gain the knowledge and competence to better integrate into the economic sector,” said Faure, adding that the school will cater for students from secondary three level.
“I would like to invite the private sector to collaborate in the construction and management of this school. The Government will pay for the education of all children who go to this school,” said Faure.
The Minister for Education and Human Resources Development, Joel Morgan, said that this school is another instrument that his ministry is using to better train students technically and in skills development. Morgan said that currently the ministry is finalising the plans and mobilising resources for the new school.
“This will allow these students to learn in a specialised place. This will also be a preparation for them before they join a post-secondary institution. After the technical school students can plug in directly into the Seychelles Institute of Technology,” explained Morgan.
Morgan said students at the new school will learn mechanics, plumbing, electrical, masonry and carpentry among other areas of study.
“Students will also be able after the school to join the Maritime Training Academy. As currently there is a lot of emphasis on aquaculture which will open different possibilities for us in Seychelles. These will include fisheries science, navigation, technicians for biology, chemistry and in food science. So we need to be prepared for these economic opportunities” said Morgan.
|Young students of the Maritime Training Academy on practical training. (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency)|
Johnacia Sultan - a primary school teacher - has welcomed this imitative. “It is a good thing because some students do not have the interest in academic studies. A technical school will help them to develop in other areas” said Sultan.
“We used to have such schools in the past. For example, we had institutions at Mont Fleuri, where young people could learn masonry and carpentry. There was also a sewing school which was at St. Claire building in Victoria. So the school is a good move especially for boys who have the tendency to fall prey to social ills,” said Sultan.
Kathleen Bonnelame a parent who has also worked in the education sector said that the creation of the technical and vocational school is a good move to address some issues relating to poor performances in state schools.
She said that the education system is now creating a system which is parallel. Currently, students who are academic get the chance to do their IGCSE. But for those who are not, go to S4 and S5 and only get to do the national exams.
"As a parent, I see another option if my child is not good academically at least now this new school will give them the chance to develop and acquire skills which will allow them to join the world of work,” said Bonnelame.
Morgan said officials are discussing how the new school will integrate students from Praslin and La Digue - the two other main islands of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
“We will also look at the possibility in future to build one such school on one of the two islands for the inclusion of all of our students,” he said.
Morgan said that for staffing the Ministry is looking at part-time lecturers.
“We are developing a model and we are looking at people who will work on a part-time basis alongside our core staff. But we know that we might not get all the personals that we may need. There is nothing wrong with getting expatriates to impart knowledge and skills but the overall objective is to train Seychellois and build our human capacity,” said Morgan.
Morgan said the ministry of education is also looking at the possibility of introducing IGCSE in the technical field.