Seychelles emphasises on inclusive education, establishes partnership with Silverline private school |09 May 2022
Seychelles is expected to adopt new approaches to ensure inclusivity in the public school system and to give better opportunities to special needs students to thrive both academically and personally.
This is expected to materialise through a new partnership between the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family; and the Silverline private school in Cyprus.
Education Minister, Dr Justin Valentin; Minister for Youth, Sports and Family Marie Celine Zialor and principal secretary of the family department Clive Roucou are on an official mission to Cyprus to explore collaborations and a possible partnership to build capacity in special needs education and offer the best possibilities to special needs children in Seychelles, to achieve their full potential.
Seychelles’ delegation was invited to Cyprus by the private school to attend its tenth anniversary celebrations.
“Our knowledge of Silverline private school has come at a time when we, in Seychelles, are striving to make special education needs and disability an important priority focus in our education system. We have developed targets around inclusive education; targets about building aspirations; targets about getting children of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve their best potential; and more importantly, we have developed targets about giving all students the best possible deal. I have to admit that our good intentions are far from realisation as we fall short of invaluable resources which are human capital, financial deeds and to a large extent, a good model to follow,” said Minister Valentin at an event to celebrate the anniversary on Saturday May 7, 2022.
Minister Valentin added: “We are being given a good partner to learn from while at the same time we are being presented with a golden opportunity to offer to our national community a fantastic alternative model of schooling. The conversations that we have had so far with the direction of Silverline private school have presented to the education community in Seychelles, a promising platform for exploration and profound discussion.”
The delegation who are in Cyprus on a four-day familiarisation visit, also met with the board of directors of the Silverline private school to discuss support for the implementation of a similar inclusivity school system in Seychelles.
Training, capacity building and teacher exchanges were top on the agenda of the discussion with the board.
Minister Zialor, whose ministry holds the disabled portfolio, explained that the wealth of experience of the school and its success stories are much needed to bring about the transformation in the way society perceives students with special needs.
Minister Zialor added that finding the right model adaptable and suitable for the local context is crucial, explaining that a private-public partnership might be the best model for Seychelles. Minister Zialor stressed that this new approach must also cater for extremely talented and gifted children.
Minister Valentin added that it was a good opportunity to learn from the school. “From a government perspective, we are equally comfortable to allow the spirit of Silverline private school to be transported and implemented within Seychelles. We are confident and we know that the children in Seychelles will benefit from a similar experience. We welcome further discussion and further models of collaboration,” said Minister Valentin.
Silverline is a private international school offering students aged 3 to 18 years old, primary and secondary education, it is also an inclusive school which accepts students with additional needs.
Both ministries said that they are committed to working together as well as with local and international partners to, not only improve the quality of education of people with special needs but also offer inclusive education, ensuring that this group of the population becomes fully-fledged citizens participating actively in the socio-economic development of their country.
Joint press release from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family