District meetings - Government announces survey to assess cost of A-Level studies on Praslin |05 June 2023
President Wavel Ramkalawan has announced that the Ministry of Education and the Ministry responsible for finance will be carrying out a survey to assess the cost of A-Level studies for Praslin and La Digue students, to see whether it is feasible for them to do their studies on Praslin instead of moving to Mahé for the duration of their schooling.
President Wavel Ramkalawan made the comments on Saturday at the Baie Ste Anne public meeting at the district’s community centre, in response to a proposal made the previous day during the Grand Anse Praslin meeting.
The president said the government has considered the proposal and saw it to be reasonable and has therefore decided to analyse the cost between studies on Praslin compared to Mahé.
According to him there are presently three schools offering A-Levels in the country, namely School of Advanced Level Studies (Sals), Independent School and International School Seychelles (ISS). The Independent School and ISS charge R22,000 and R25,000 per trimester per student, respectively.
“There will be a study to see the cost, if parents are in agreement and the cost is fair, then next year the students will be able to remain on Praslin for the studies,” said President Ramkalawan. There are presently four students from Praslin and one from La Digue doing their A-levels on Mahé.
The head of state also announced that patients from the second and third largest islands who are going on overseas treatment will no longer be required to come to Mahé to do their paperwork and other procedures prior to treatment.
“As of now, all the preparation and procedures will be done on Praslin, instead of going back and forth,” he said.
Another concern raised was the unavailability of ENT service on the island, which were forcing patients to travel to Mahé for private clinic.
The Minister for Health, Peggy Vidot, explained there was a short vacuum as the former ENT specialist had left without prior notice and the replacement declined to take the post at the last minute.
She said however that the permanent ENT specialist has arrived in the country and service for Praslin will soon return to normal.
A resident, speaking on behalf of some Anse Boudin inhabitants, raised her concern over a new Detox centre that is expected to be set up in Anse Boudin, to treat drug addicts, stating they were against having this centre in their community as it will be exposing their children to drugs.
President Ramkalawan said although he understood their concerns, today there were more people frequenting the area who were already on drugs, than the number of addicts that would come to the centre for treatment. However, he said the inhabitants in the vicinity will be consulted prior to the centre being set up.
Another issue raised by a concerned parent was the lack of fencing at the Praslin secondary school which was facilitating access to drug dealers. She called for more regular patrols by the police in the area to protect the children. Her proposal was welcomed by the president who called on the Minister for Education to include fencing in next year’s budget and urged the police to enhance their patrol at the school.
There were calls for an ambulance to cater for Praslinois, to relieve pressure on the service when there is medical evacuation and the one available has to remain on standby with the patients. The president informed the meeting that the country has received two new ambulances and five others have been ordered, and Praslin will be considered in the next batch.
Some of the other issues raised related to land dispute and housing, employment in the tourism sectors, road access, signs posts for mainly tourists, among others.
As usual, the minister responsible for housing, Billy Rangasamy, gave a summary of the housing plans for the district stating there were 42 applications for affordable housing, with 18 of them over 15 years, while there were 20 applications for mid-range condominium and around thirty for land bank.
Meanwhile following Saturday’s meeting, which was the seventeenth so far, the head of State described the public meetings as an extraordinary exercise, and a platform that has attracted a lot of people both in Seychelles and overseas.
Speaking to journalists, President Ramkalawan said for the Grand Anse Praslin gathering on Friday, they established a record of over 19,000 followers on social media platforms, where the public meetings are being shown.
“Definitely if you add that to those watching on SBC, you are over 30,000 people, so to me this is an extraordinary exercise where we have been able to listen to people, listen to their proposals,” he stated.
There are nine meetings left with three this week; namely Baie Lazare, Pointe Larue and Perseverance respectively. The meetings will not take place from June 8 to June 19.
At Saturday’s meeting the residents observed a minute of silence for a nurse who had passed away during the week.