New two-storey block inaugurated at Grand Anse Praslin secondary school |08 June 2020
A new block of classes at Grand Anse Praslin secondary school was inaugurated on Friday by Education and Human Resource Development Minister Jeanne Simeon, who also led her team on a visit to all four state schools on Praslin.
Minister Simeon was accompanied by the principal secretary for early childhood, primary and secondary education, Dr Odile de Commarmond, and several officials from her ministry as they visited the four state schools on the island, namely Anse Kerlan crèche, Grand Anse Praslin primary, Baie Ste Anne primary and Grand Anse Praslin secondary.
The highlight of the visit was the inauguration of the new block of classes at the Grand Anse Praslin secondary school and Minister Simeon was joined by head teacher Michael Antoine to unveil the plaque in the presence of teachers, students, members of the school council and other stakeholders.
Work on the new two-storey block which started in 2018 was conducted by Allied Builders Company. The building consists of 10 classrooms, three specialised science laboratories and prep rooms, a computer room, management offices and toilet facilities found on each floor.
The project has amounted to a total of R14 million and this includes repair work in certain areas of the existing school building.
“There was indeed a lack of space in the school and we believe that this new building will make up for that. The new block provides adequate space for classes, labs and sanitary facilities. It also consists of management offices for supervision of students at all times. This comes especially at the current ‘new normal time’ where the newly introduced health measures somewhat force us to use up much more space. Students can now study in a more conducive environment,” Minister Simeon shared.
Grand Anse Praslin secondary school, which hosts a total of 608 students from around the island and 67 staff on a daily basis, is yet to make use of the new block as they await complete furnishing. The additional rooms will also allow the school to extend its current staff room which is too small for the number of staff, thus creating a more favourable environment for both students and staff.
On his part, head teacher Antoine expressed the school’s gratitude for the new block: “On behalf of the school I earnestly thank the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development for financing the project, and am profusely grateful to the personnel who have overseen its completion. We acknowledge the commitment of Allied Builders to have timely delivered a high standard project. I am profoundly grateful to our minister, Mrs Simeon, for having made time to come over to commission the building.”
Mr Antoine continued by encouraging the students to make good use of the additional rooms. “The infrastructure will also provide a more conducive environment for teaching and learning, boosting the staff and students’ morale and helping us in our quest for success. This is as envisioned in our vision and mission, whose excerpts respectively to deliver quality instructions and to provide an environment that nurtures and empowers each student holistically, using innovative pedagogies to achieve excellence. I would thus like to appeal to the school community to make good use of the facilities put at our disposal. I also would like to refer our students to the biblical verse; 2 Timothy 2:15 which implies that as a student, you should indulge yourself in your work and be the best you can be.”
The ministerial delegation then visited the three other schools and had the opportunity to interact with teachers and students in their respective classes. The delegation could experience teaching and learning of the sounds ‘S’ and ‘Z’, French grammar, preparation of an animal themed face mask, different districts in Seychelles, the characteristics of a tadpole, a particularly special song for the delegation’s visit and the traditional ‘kotis an glisan’ kanmtole dance. The management teams could discuss their concerns as well as showcase their achievements to the delegation.
After the visit of the schools, Minister Simeon and her delegation met the management teams of the four schools collectively at the Praslin secondary school.
Text and photos: Nadia Bedier