Education and housing dominate Perseverance district meeting |09 June 2023
Education and housing were the main points of concern for the Perseverance residents during Wednesday’s meeting, chaired by the head of state.
A large crowd had gathered at the Primary school’s hall to voice their concerns over issues, which had either not been dealt with by several government agencies or local entities, or been dragging on for a while.
The key concern regarding education was the government’s decision to turn the Perseverance secondary school into a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) school as from next year, with Perseverance students transferring to other schools in the town area.
Parents expressed their dismay, claiming they were not consulted prior to the decision being taken, while some complained the other schools were too far.
When addressing them, President Wavel Ramkalawan stated that although he understood their concerns, a TVET school was a national requirement and it had come about following several pleas to have such an educational centre to cater for students with vocational abilities.
For his part, the education minister, Dr Justin Valentin, told the meeting that the education concept was changing and regional schools, which have already existed for decades, are part of a concept that people would need to get used to.
The minister explained the TVET school will cater for all Seychellois students, including those from Perseverance and pleaded to parents to “give us a chance to train these children under this TVET concept”.
Parents whose children go to the School for the Exceptional Child also raised their concern regarding the state of the school and appealed to the head of state and Minister Valentin to visit them in Roche Caiman to see the types of hazards the children were exposed to. They also called for a meeting with the education minister.
Another education-related matter was from teachers who called for regional meetings with Minister Valentin, claiming they were desperate to see him to address various issues affecting schools. There was also a call for the re-introduction of Alternative Education Programme to address the issue of discipline and bullying in schools.
With regard to housing, the residents had concerns regarding purchase of houses, rental conditions, and the role of the Property Management Company, anti-social behaviour and reckless driving in the estates.
A resident, speaking on behalf of a dozen others residing in semi-detached houses in an area called Ocean View, requested that they should be given the plot of land in front of their houses, which could be turned into a recreational space for children and for gardening.
President Ramkalawan said the matter was already on PMC’s agenda.
“We saw the merit in what you are asking and rest assured that this will be announced soon,” he said.
Another resident queried about the plans for pre-fab houses, which the Land and Housing Minister, Billy Rangasamy, said was being addressed. According to him, the pre-fab houses will be sold to the current tenants who are interested to buy them.
“However, we will do the re-roofing and termite treatment before we offer them up for sale, at reasonable prices,” explained Mr Rangasamy.
Parents also called for the installation of speed bumps in some areas for children’s safety.
There was also a concern on the quality of desalinated water, with one tenant claiming it was affecting their electrical equipment such as washing machines which had to be replaced frequently. The head of state said the matter would be addressed by the Public Utilities Corporation.
There were also calls for a sports complex for the two estates as young people claimed they had no designated area to practice their sports.
Similar to previous meetings, Minister Rangasamy also gave a summary of the various upcoming projects for the next three years in the two estates, to address housing demands. To date there are 46 applicants for affordable housing, 28 for mid-range condominium and ten land bank applications.
It should be noted that the public meetings will be on pause, starting today till Monday, June 19, 2023.