Teachers Awards Presentation Ceremony |06 October 2021
‘Long-serving, retiring teachers honoured’
- Jeannie Marie and Linda Françoise clock 43 years of service each
By Roland Duval
Investing in sustainable practices and adaptive approaches to teaching and learning is the way forward in putting all our learners at the centre of empowerment and educational growth for the economic prosperity of our country.
The Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin, made the statement yesterday during the annual Teachers Awards Presentation Ceremony which is part of the activities to commemorate Teachers’ Week which was officially launched on Sunday during a special mass at the St John Bosco Church at Pointe Larue.
Initiated locally in 1990, this year’s Teachers’ Week is the 31st to be hosted, honouring past and present teachers for their priceless contribution in moulding the nation.
Yesterday’s ceremony which took place at the International Conference Centre Seychelles (ICCS), was graced by the presence of President Wavel Ramkalawan, and Minister for Family, Youth and Sports Marie-Celine Zialor, who is herself a specialist in education, along with senior officials from the Ministry of Education.
A total of 51 teachers – both newly retired and in-service – were rewarded for their time spent in the education system. Jeannie Marie and Linda Françoise who are still in service received the awards for the longest serving teachers after accumulating 43 years of service each.
Among the recipients, 14 were awarded for 25 years of service, while 37 are gracefully taking their retirement at the end of the year, or have already retired earlier in 2021.
With the male teachers being the centre of attraction of this year’s activities, those present yesterday had the chance to hear the all-male choir singing the Teachers’ Hymn entitled ‘Soyons Réalistes’, written by the late Marthe Marie who was a very well-known teacher.
A teacher himself, Minister Valentin said he used to enjoy this ceremony back then as it stimulated his aspirations, and seeing senior teachers getting awards of long service boosted his strength and energy.
He described the ceremony as a special occasion, where teachers are honoured for their endless devotion, commitment and dedication towards their profession, and more importantly reiterate the government’s ongoing support to them especially in the context of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Valentin thanked the teachers that have dedicated so much to the holistic development of our youth and have certainly made a difference in the development of the country.
“In spite of the many challenges in your line of work, I am sure, as a teacher myself, that you have derived immense satisfaction from having moulded learners under your care into responsible and productive citizens and workers,” noted Dr Valentin, who further added that they all deserve the country’s respect and appreciation for having remained sincere to the principles of the teaching profession and displayed resilience amid all the exigencies brought about by the pandemic.
Regarding this year’s theme – ‘Honouring the Past, Redefining the Future’ – Dr Valentin said ‘Redefining the future’ implies a shift in mindset and ways of doing business to bring about the transformation of the education system.
He said teachers and educators should see themselves as the drivers of change in their respective institutions and organisations rather than being merely the followers.
Dr Valentin added that the current pandemic obliges us to re-configure our thinking, our action and thus making use of all available resources to reach our learners wherever they may be.
“It calls on us to hold ourselves responsible and accountable for the wellbeing and progress of our learners,” said Dr Valentin who further added that it calls for more care and vigilance in the face of social ills in the society at large, and that learners need to feel secure, happy and with a clear sense of purpose.
He also explained that investing in sustainable practices and adaptive approaches to teaching and learning is the way forward in putting all learners at the centre of empowerment and educational growth for the economic prosperity of the country.
Dr Valentin also announced that groundwork is being done under the leadership of the Directorate of Education responsible for Strategic Priorities of the Ministry, to give schools more autonomy in terms of governance and management of their respective institution.
He said a process approach has been adopted, as advocated in the Teacher Management and Development Policy 2020 for all new education reform initiatives.
The project, he said, is to be piloted next year in a number of schools, accompanied with teams from headquarters.
Dr Valentin explained that the overall aim of the autonomy drive – which has been underscored in the President’s own pronouncements – is to unfetter the work of both school and PC governance and management to enable educators to deliver without the encumbrance of deadening bureaucracy while at the same time ensuring accountability.
“Cutting through unnecessary layers as in the current reform in the ministry and empowering institutions, like through the work being done in the context of the revision of the tertiary education act, the process approach being adopted to make schools more autonomous by 2023, are all means towards this end,” he added.
Regarding continuing professional development and training, Dr Valentin said the Teacher Management and Development Policy 2020 and the Teachers Council of Seychelles Regulations 2021, officially launched, create a vehicle through which to raise standards in the profession and from which teachers can advance important issues to do with advancement of the profession.
Addressing the two longest serving teachers who have dedicated 43 years of their lives to the education system, Dr Valentin described them as role models, while the length of service gives meaning in its full sense to the word vocation.
To conclude, Dr Valentin reminded the teachers that their work is critical in the advancement of this society, especially in the preparation of tomorrow’s cadre of citizens, workers and leaders.
He added that teachers deserve to be recognised with the same degree of respect as other high-profile professions, since they can make significant difference between success and failure in life, while easily determine the quality of education delivered and acquired.
Teachers with 25 years in service: Beryl Sinon, Denise Bertin, Monique Docteur, Magda Benoit, Lina Confiance, Rita Monchouguy, Mepole Mathiot, Heidi Benoit, Juliette Cousin, Jeffrey Nanty, Andrew Gamatist, Julie Dubel, Joel Celestine and Sylvianne Sultan.
Teachers with 43 years in service: Jeannie Marie and Linda Françoise.
Retiring teachers in 2021: Cecile Barbé, Marie-Antoinette Lucas, Drixie Isnard, Marie-Therese Mounac, Brenda Crispin,Marina Kilindo,Ghislaine Dorothé, Jeannette Victor, Bernadette Treguer, Diana Germain, Innocente Ernesta, Noella Rath, Inesse Salomon, Thomas Dodin, Andre Freminot, Marie-Reine Hoareau, Norbert Dogley, Marie-Claire Hoareau, James Auguste, Josta Lafortune, Marie-Claire Lui-Chit-Chon, Marie Georges, Naddy Low-Toy, Emmanuel Freminot, Marguerita Hoareau, Alex Labrosse, Louisette Morel, Mohamed Kanté, Thérèse Azolan, Louis Agathine, Benjamin Cadence, Marie-France Ramanantsao, Mina Lucas, Catherine Marguerite and Jina Denis.