New club set up to lure young aspiring teachers |08 October 2020
By Elsie Pointe
In a bid to attract more young people into the teaching profession, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource yesterday officially launched the ‘Aspiring Teachers Club’.
The launch of the ‘Aspiring Teachers Club’ forms part of this year’s Teachers’ Week celebrations, being observed from October 4 to 10. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Teachers’ Day celebration in Seychelles.
The nationwide campaign was unveiled yesterday at the ICCS in a ceremony attended by the principal secretary for early childhood, primary and secondary education Dr Odile Decommarmond, special advisor to education minister Merida Delcy, chief teacher management and development officer Alex Souffe and director of the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (Site) Rosianne Jules.
Also present were teachers and students from the eleven public secondary schools, across Seychelles, in which the club has been launched.
With an indisputable decline of Seychellois educators and lack of interest from the youth to take on the profession, the ministry has opted to extend its Aspiring Teachers programme directly into schools with the club.
The ‘Aspiring Teacher’ club will operate much like most extracurricular activities (ECA) clubs, providing students with activities and materials to help them explore the teaching profession.
In her address, PS Decommarmond noted the importance of teachers as backbones of the society, helping to mould brain and personalities alike.
She however stated that the dwindling numbers of teachers is a cause for concern which must be addressed.
“According to Unesco, nearly 69 million new teachers will be necessary to provide quality universal primary and secondary education by 2030, as called for in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This estimate was made prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges affecting education systems globally,” said PS Decommarmond.
“In October 2015, the ministry launched a home-grown strategy ‘The Aspiring Teacher Programme’ which aimed at attracting potential and promising students from S5 to eventually choose teaching as a profession. Five years down the road, we are still faced with the challenge of attracting sufficient number of young Seychellois to join the teaching profession.”
“To provide greater impetus to the programme, the ministry found it necessary to adopt new strategies for the programme to have its desired impact. To that effect, the idea of setting up the Aspiring Teachers Club in all secondary schools was adopted of which details of the club will be presented as part of this ceremony. This approach is deemed to bring more synergy in our quest to attract and recruit the best candidates to join the teaching profession for the on-going prosperity of Seychelles,” added the principal secretary.
Groundwork for this new initiative started in the last quarter of 2019 under the leadership of special advisor, Mrs Delcy, who received the honour of unveiling the club’s logo.
The logo was designed by three students from English River secondary school – Marlon Andre, Jackana Pillay and Duane Barbe.
All three students received a prize for their efforts which was followed by the presentation of ‘Aspiring Teacher Club’ badges and t-shirts to each secondary school.
Mr Souffe explained that the clubs will provide a means for grouping and guiding students aspiring to join the teaching profession, and make teaching a popular choice among students.
He further explained that the clubs will be managed by the overarching Aspiring Teacher team with representatives from the teacher management and development section, secondary education division and Site.
Meanwhile schools are expected to set up coordinating teams to helm the clubs.
Nicha Servina and Gracy Vel, ‘Aspiring Teachers Club’ members Perseverance secondary school, are both hoping to become future educators and join Site after their secondary studies.
The two S4 students noted that the club is offering them an opportunity to hone skills to become teachers and inspire other students to join the club.