The World Bank is currently on a first education mission to the Seychelles to assist the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development to develop the framework for the operation of the island nation’s technical and vocational school.
Education specialists from the international financial institution are to provide advice for the school as well as discuss the challenges of education and skill development in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The creation of the new educational institution was announced by President Danny Faure in his State of the Nation Address last year. The school is being planned to open in 2020 on Ile Soleil, the man-made island found on the east coast of the main island of Mahe.
Xiaoyan Liang, along with another expert consultant from Singapore, had discussions with the representatives of the ministries of education and employment as well as from the Seychelles Investment Bureau on Monday. The meeting is in preparation for the tender and bidding process for the construction and operation of the school.
“This is the first education mission by the World Bank to the Seychelles and we were asked for specific technical inputs for the design of the new technical and vocational school,” said Liang.
The education specialist added: “but to do that we must understand your education system which will allow us to present relevant and pertinent input.”
When he announced the creation of the school in February 2018, Faure had said, “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.”
The head of state added that the school will cater for students from the 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.
Jean Alcindor, the project manager, said that “the school is expected to be a public-private partnership with the involvement of the private sector in the running of the institution.”
Alcindor added that the institution is for vocationally gifted students from Secondary 4 and Secondary 5 and will better train students technically and in skills development.
“But for the success of this institution, we must work in close collaboration with the private sector,” said Alcindor who added that $4.4 million is needed to fully implement the project.
The institution will offer two-year programmes and the first cohort of 250 students is expected to join once it opens.
Students are expected to learn mechanics, plumbing, electrical, fisheries, masonry and carpentry among other areas of study. This will allow these students to learn in a specialised place and 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 and the Maritime Training Academy.