ICT tools to boost e-learning at UniSey |24 August 2021
By Patrick Joubert
The University of Seychelles (UniSey) has received a donation of ICT equipment and furniture for its ICT centre, based at Mont Fleuri, from the government of India.
The donation consisting of computers, TV monitors, high speed scanners, audio systems, cameras and furniture at a cost of USD72,000, will be used for e-tele education and e-telemedicine courses for Seychellois students, offered by the Indian government.
It was handed over in a short ceremony at the ICT centre yesterday morning by the high commissioner of India to Seychelles, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, to the vice-chancellor of UniSey, Joelle Perreau.
Present at the ceremony were the Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin; the principal secretary for Education, Dr Odile de Comarmond; senior officials from the Ministry of Education and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, and other representatives from the Indian high commission and the UniSey.
The donation is based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed for the implementation of free Indian scholarships to be conducted in the country, under the e-VidyaBharti (e-education) and e-ArogyaBharti (tele-medicine), called the E-VBAB project, with the Telecommunication Consultants India Limited for a period of 5 years.
Through this project, to be coordinated by UniSey, Seychellois citizens will, at the ICT centre, benefit from a wide range of courses in different fields, fully funded by the Indian government, from numerous well-established and high standard universities in India.
The MoU was signed on September 2, 2020 in India by Seychelles’ high commissioner accredited to India, Selby Pillay.
In his opening remark, HC Suhag said the realisation of the E-VBAB project is a testament to the citizen centric and demand driven approach of India towards development partnership in the country.
“It is aimed to harness India’s experience with digital revolution to support Seychelles’s development; improve delivery of public services in areas of education and health; spread digital literacy and mainstream the marginalized,” HC Suhag said.
The high commissioner also noted that the project is proof of the strong bond of friendship that India and our country share based on close neighbourly ties that have become stronger over time.
“India is already assisting Seychelles in securing its maritime borders and in creating high-quality people centric infrastructure. The e-VBAB project and the learning centre is going to be another milestone on this path towards realising the development aspiration for growth and prosperity of the Seychellois people,” HC Suhag added.
He stated that the creation of the e-VBAB project follows the successful conclusion in 2017 of the Pan African e-Network project conceived by former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, and launched in 2009, to provide education and medical services through tele-communication links, mostly satellite based, between universities and hospitals in India and their counterparts in Africa, including in our country.
On behalf of the government and UniSey, Chancellor Perreau thanked the Indian government, through HC Suhag, for the generous opportunity offered to our country through the e-VBAB project and for trusting UniSey with the project.
“Today we humbly accept the equipment fully financed by the Indian government and, consequently, also accept the responsibility to house and coordinate both parts of the project, tele-education and tele-medicine, for Seychelles,” she said.
The chancellor noted that while UniSey will guide and support the Seychellois students to successfully complete their programmes, it will also, in close collaboration with the Seychelles Qualification Authority (SQA), ensure that whatever they enroll on, are recognised locally.
She invited all Seychellois interested in pursuing their professional development to enroll on the diverse programmes on offer and based on the training needs of the country, UniSey will guide them to choose the appropriate programmes for their professional development.
Chancellor Perreau also took the opportunity to name the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Development, Justin Zelime, as the education coordinator for the e-VBAB project. She also named Bernard Songoire as the local coordinator of the Ee-VBAB project, meaning he will be responsible for the equipment, the students and communication with UniSey’s partner in India and at the Indian high commission.
She later said that the e-VBAB project through the two separate web-based platforms, will allow for more Seychellois to be trained in the different fields rather than a few that have to travel to India on the same offered scholarship to receive training.
The ceremony ended with a tour of the facilities where the e-VBAB courses will be conducted.
The accompanying photographs show some highlights of the ceremony.
Photos by Jude Morel