42nd Unesco general conference in Paris |11 November 2023
Education minister highlights Seychelles’ achievements and collaborations
Education Minister, Dr Justin Valentin, has highlighted some of Seychelles’ achievements over the past two years including the designation of the Institute for Early Childhood Development as a Unesco category II centre under the auspices of Unesco, and the global recognition of the moutya dance as cultural heritage.
This was during his address at the 42nd Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) general conference taking place in Paris, France.
Minister Valentin conveyed the Seychelles government's appreciation to Unesco's director general and the various United Nations (UN) and Unesco regional offices for their steadfast support. In his address, the minister reiterated how the Seychelles government, under the leadership of President Wavel Ramkalawan, has demonstrated a strong commitment to Unesco's major policy directions.
He underscored Seychelles' dedication to sustainable development, celebrating three decades of the Eco-School project, the integration of climate change into education at all levels, and empowering youth-led non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to spearhead sustainable development initiatives.
Minister Valentin emphasised Seychelles' active role in international forums, such as the ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) conference in Tashkent and collaborations with institutions like the Unesco Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development. Furthermore, the Seychelles government has successfully integrated technology into education, with significant progress since 2021, thanks to the support of the Commonwealth of Learning.
He acknowledged Seychelles' current challenges which includes data management, technical education enhancements, and continuous teacher training. He affirmed the government's commitment through a strategic action plan to overcome these hurdles.
Minister Valentin also unveiled the commencement of a collaborative venture with South Africa in the early childhood education sector. This follows engagements with the South African education ministry including the visit of the South African minister of education to Seychelles last month, which indicates the initiation of what promises to be a fruitful partnership. Future collaborations in Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and higher education sectors are also on the horizon.
Dr Valentin also extended a call for increased collaboration among Francophone countries and renewed dedication to regional integration.