Seychelles moving to open new vocational school, exposing students to plumbing, masonry and carpentry
The school, which will be located on the reclaimed Ile Soleil in the district of Anse Aux Pins will have the capacity to take in 500 students. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A new vocational school that will give students in Seychelles a wider choice of future careers is expected to open in 2020 after the Cabinet of Ministers took action this week.
President Danny Faure announced the setting up of the school in his State of the Nation Address in March.
“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,” Faure had said.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the framework for the setting up of the technical and vocational school for middle secondary students on Wednesday during its weekly meeting.
The school, which will be located on the reclaimed Ile Soleil in the district of Anse Aux Pins on the eastern coast of the main island Mahe, will have the capacity to take in 500 students.
The Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Policy Affairs, Margaret Pillay, said on Thursday, that the technical and vocational school will be for secondary four and five students who do not want to follow an academic path.
“These students are equally intelligent but they have chosen to go down another path. The institution will provide them with a new modern school where they will receive all the necessary baggage to enter the world of work later on in life,” said Pillay.
Subjects to be taught will be plumbing, masonry, carpentry and graphics design among others.
“As the school develops, other subjects will be introduced and this will depend on the demand of the country,” added Pillay.
The Agency for National Human Resource Development carried out a survey to find out in which field there is a lack of labour force. This gives a better understanding of which subjects will be taught in the institution.
A vocational and technical school also prepares the future workforce of the country as its curriculum will be based on the labour needs, said Pillay
The land where the school will be built will be provided by the government on a 99-year lease term. The government will also provide the school’s programme as well as pay the tuition fees of students.
However, the private sector is being asked to come on board and invest in the construction of the facility. Pillay said: “The private sector will be responsible to run the school. Both the private and public sector will be represented in the schools, council as members.”
The initial plan has already been drafted and now the planning authority needs to approve and give the go-ahead for its construction, she said.
Graduating from the school with a level two certificate, students can also choose to further their studies within professional centres to obtain their diplomas.
“They will be gaining the necessary skill they will need in the world of work rather than doing something purely academic that won’t be of use once they leave school,” said Pillay.
The construction of such a school is welcomed by both teachers and parents.
Johnacia Sultan, a primary school teacher, has welcomed this initiative, saying “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.”
Kathleen Bonnelame - a parent - 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.
"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.
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.