President Ramkalawan assents to two bills |07 December 2022
President Wavel Ramkalawan yesterday assented to two bills – the Early Childhood Development Bill, 2022 and the Construction Professionals Council Bill, 2022.
Early Childhood Development Bill, 2022
This new Act will address the gaps and the challenges brought forward by the childminders. The new addition from this act is the registration of individuals looking after 2-3 children at home in order to benefit from the assistance received by the parents from the government.
The overarching objective of the Early Childhood Development Act 2022 is to adapt the provisions of the current Institute of Early Childhood Development Act, 2014 (IECD Act) to the more modern criteria and obligations set forth under the Unesco Agreement; specifically those relating to the Unesco Category 2 Centres for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and to allow the Institute of the Early Childhood Development (IECD), under the auspices of Unesco, to effectively operate as such thereby extending the Institute’s regulatory powers.
While assenting to this Bill, President Ramkalawan noted that the “children from 0-5 years are precious to our society and it is important to have a reliable and consistent service for them. It is unfortunate that many of our small treasures are already being affected with the morals of our society. This act will allow IECD to put in place a proper development programme for Seychelles and assure the best for our children”.
This event was witnessed by Minister Billy Rangasamy, secretary of state for Cabinet Affairs, chairpersons of ECCE board, CEOs and the Asst. principal state counsel, Stephan Knights.
The chief executive of IECD, Shirley Choppy, expressed that “today is a historic day for us in the development of early childhood. The institute, established in 2014 under the IECD Act, will continue under this Act to seek to promote the holistic development of the child and to establish an efficient framework for early childhood care and education. The aim of the Act is to bring early childhood development to another level. The institute will remain the principal implementing entity of the legal instrument with the core objective of bringing about improvements in services rendered in child care facilities at the non-compulsory stage of education; that is education rendered for children between the ages of 0 to 5 years thereby furthering advancements in ECCE on a wider scale. The Act proposes to provide the Institute with a legal basis to operate as an international centre for ECCE, consistent with the obligations of the Unesco Category 2 Centres and furthermore to increase, on a regional and international level, the recognition of the Republic and the institute's leadership.”
With this new act, IECD will provide more training to childminders and day care staff.
“Under the new law, it is not a requirement for those who look after two to three children at home to register with IECD. But with the financial assistance the parents receive, we would accommodate the service providers to come register so that they can also benefit from this assistance.
Currently there are 33 daycares who have registered with the Ministry of Education and around 106 childminders.
Construction Professionals Council Bill
The Construction Professionals Council Act provides for the establishment of the Seychelles council of registered professionals in construction; it also makes provisions for the registration of construction professionals; to regulate the qualification and conduct of persons who carry out construction related services; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to.
In Seychelles there are around 200 people offering their services in the following domain: architectural services, engineering services, quantity surveying services, building surveying services and other related services.
President Ramkalawan noted that the creation of this council is of great importance as “it will help in ensuring a better quality of work. We all know the difficulties met while doing a construction and there are many criticisms out there. People need to understand that we are aiming for a high standard. This council has nothing to do with contractors! It caters only for the services precisely mentioned in the act.”
President Ramkalawan also shared that in many cases when work offered by these specialists are not well done, it is the Planning Authority that is being blamed and this Act will prevent this from happening.
The chief executive of the Planning Authority, Angela Servina, explained that with this act, the Seychelles Council of Registered Professionals in Construction will be established and it will, among other things, maintain a register of persons and businesses that can provide architectural services, engineering services, quantity surveying services, building surveying services and other related services in Seychelles; regulate the qualifications and practice of Construction Professionals and impose disciplinary measures and penalties on construction professionals found guilty of negligence or other malpractices.
The Council will have the power to immediately suspend or prohibit a construction professional from providing services to the public where it is necessary for safeguarding of life, public health or property. The Act requires that construction professionals are covered by indemnity insurance to cover any loss or damage to the equipment needed to complete the provision of services offered to the public; cover any accidental death, dismemberment or permanent disability resulting in bodily injury incurred in connection with the provision of the services.
The minister in charge, Billy Rangasamy, will set up a temporary council for 18 months and will take care of the setting up of the council. Members will have to pay an annual registration fee.
CEO Servina explained that the ministry will closely work with the different authorities in order to set up the Council and set the framework.
This event was witnessed by Minister Billy Rangasamy, secretary of state for Cabinet Affairs, chairperson of the Planning Authority Board, CEO of the Planning Authority and the assistant principal state counsel Stephan Knights
Photos: Joena Meme