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First Youth Education Summit |16 September 2023

First Youth Education Summit

Delegates and guests in a souvenir photograph

Education minister commits to attending to recommendations


  •           Calls on the creation of a youth education council as a strategic move


By Sunny Esparon


The Minister for Education has given his commitment to turn into policies or regulations the recommendations made at the first ever Youth Education summit held yesterday.

Dr Justin Valentin made the commitment at the end of the one-day summit at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education, which brought together delegates aged 13-30 years, from public and private secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, the University of Seychelles, youth organisations, young entrepreneurs, youth leaders and professionals from multi sectors and self-employed youth.

Held under the theme ‘Negotiating a New Education Landscape’, the gathering sought to respond to the United Nations World Transforming Education Summit that took place in New York last year, where the UN secretary general, António Guterres, talked about elevating education to the top of the global political agenda and engaging the youth in this pursuit.

There were four key areas addressed at yesterday’s gathering namely ‘New Models of Schooling’, ‘Life skills’, ‘Access to opportunities’ and ‘Healthy Living’, which are issues of concern for the education ministry and relate to Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Quality Education.

Following a 15-minute presentations about each topic, delegates were split into 14 groups to discuss the topics and make recommendations not only to the Ministry of Education but to the United Nations, on how best to improve Seychelles’ education system.

Proposals ranged from ways to improve the curriculum, by introducing new subjects such as financial education, climate studies, business, music, mental health and social studies among others, to have more focus on the vocational students instead of only the academically-gifted ones, to adding resources and enhancing infrastructure.

There were also recommendations to review educators’ working environment and salaries, provide scholarships and training, and introduce programmes to motivate teachers and other staff.

The delegates also recommended that there should be continuous sensitisation programmes on substance abuse, reproductive health and sexual behaviour, enhanced parents’ engagement and a more serious approach against bullying.

In his closing remarks, Minister Valentin thanked the participants for their active participation in the deliberations and for coming up with strong recommendations, which he said would be attended to.

“I give my commitment that the ministry of education will go through the various recommendations and we will even look at the recommendations that extend beyond the Ministry of Education,” he stated.

“Even those that need to perhaps be addressed by the cabinet. I will take these recommendations forward so that we ultimately find solutions and also convert some of your ideas into policies or regulations, if need be.”

He also proposed that in order to be more strategic, the summit participants should form a Youth Education Council, so as to have an effective and consistent way of gaining students’ views and input.

The council will set up a proper forum that will regularly advise the ministry and the government on education issues.

The council will eventually elect a board to have a formal structure.

Earlier in the day, United Nations resident coordinator for Mauritius and Seychelles, Lisa Singh, had highlighted the need to empower young people in order to create a world fit for future generations.

“It is about generational equity and justice,” she said.

Ms Singh said that promoting the participation of youth in decision-making at all levels is a priority for the United Nations worldwide. The UN recognises that young people are the future assets, the agents of change with the ability to advance the sustainable development goals to improve not only their own lives but the lives of households and communities and the planet itself.

“In involving you in decision-making, policy-making becomes more effective and more responsive and more robust to the needs of all of us,” she proclaimed.

The Summit, funded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the United Nations, also included a survey for youths who could not be able to attend, which they could accessed on link:


Photos by Louis Toussaint




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