More than 9000 primary and secondary students benefit from breakfast offered by state schools |24 May 2023
The Ministry of Education has said that to date, 9181 students from both primary and secondary are benefitting from breakfast offered by the state schools.
Education Minister, Dr Justin Valentin, revealed the statistics in yesterday’s National Assembly session when answering a question by elected member for Mont Buxton, Gervais Henrie, on the service.
The question tabled wanted to know how many students had registered, the amount of money spent on the service to date and whether parents and private companies were involved with the programme by providing any form of assistance.
Since Hon. Henrie was absent, his question was presented by his colleague, Hon. Sandy Arissol.
Minister Valentin told the National Assembly that there are presently 8046 primary pupils registered for the programme representing 73 percent of primary pupils, while at secondary, there are 1135, representing 17 percent. This makes a total of 9181 students.
The minister said that from September to December 2022, the government spent R4,455,000 on the programme and the amount for the period January to April 2023 was around R3 million.
He confirmed that a lot of businesses invest in the programme including farms, bakeries, butchery and hotels and some parents invest their time, by helping to serve breakfast daily.
The minister informed the National Assembly that the organization Caritas-Victoria was also helping out at three schools last year, but has not been involved this year.
One of the ministry’s frequent sponsors is the Seychelles Trading Company, which donates R250,000 monthly towards the programme.
Another question tabled yesterday, was one from the elected member for La Digue and Inner Islands, Rocky Uranie, who was querying about the number of students who qualified for government scholarships after completing their studies in 2022.
Minister Valentin informed the National Assembly that 184 students have qualified out of whom, 109 will be proceeding for studies overseas, while 75 will be studying in local institutions namely the University of Seychelles and The Guy Morel Institute. 35 students are the best five from different professional centres other than Sals (School of Advanced Level Studies) and Seychelles Business Studies Academy.
The minister said he could not divulge the total cost of the scholarships as the students were still choosing their institutions and filling their applications. However he informed the National Assembly that in 2021, the total cost for first year students stood at around R174 million.
For her part, the elected member for Glacis, Hon. Regina Esparon, wanted to know the ministry’s plan to build a new playing field for the Glacis school.
Minister Valentin informed the National Assembly that he visited the site on Monday this week along with all those involved with the project and they concluded that it was a difficult terrain and the ministry had no intention of developing it into a playing field.
He proposed an alternative, which is to make use of the existing field near the Glacis community centre.
The minister said this alternative is being explored with the assistance of the Local Government department, the sports unit and police to ensure the students could travel to and from their school for their physical education classes.
For Hon. Esparon, the alternative was a disappointment as it would mean a ten-minute walk to the field, to which Minister Valentin said they could look at options such as bus service to transport the students to and from the field.