Miss Dalila Mathiot: A teacher at the School for the Exceptional Child |03 December 2020
‘My work has made me a very patient and compassionate person’
Miss Dalila Mathiot was born on July 30, 1963. She attended St Agnes school up to Form II. Although she was successful to pursue her studies at Form 3 Level, she opted to join the world of work. This came about after she was informed by one of her friends that a lady by the name of Mrs Bill, was looking for people to work with children. At that time, however, Dalila and her friend did not know that the job entailed working with children with disabilities. They received on the job training and this marked the beginning of her 43 year journey working with children with special needs.
From the start, Miss Dalila felt that it was a challenge working with children with special needs. She expressed that she was highly emotional and felt that she would not be able to continue working in this field. However, during those days, many professionals from UK and America came to Seychelles and provided professional development sessions for the staff working with the exceptional children. These trainings helped her to better assist the children and more importantly, rendered the work easier and fulfilling. It was around this time, that Miss Dalila discovered that she did have the qualities, enthusiasm and the passion to work with children who need special attention. She had finally discovered her calling.
It is to be noted that initially, the service provided to the exceptional children was under the responsibility of a volunteer organisation, led by a gentleman named Mr Ron Brouiller. The organisation was called ‘The Children Society’ and was located next to the Stad Popiler.
In March 1979, it became a school under the banner of the Ministry of Education. The name then changed from The Children Society to ‘The School for the Exceptional Child’. In 1994, the school was relocated to its present location at Roche Caiman.
During her long years at the school, Miss Dalila took full advantage of all the professional development sessions, which eventually earned her a qualified teacher status, in the field of Special Education.
After forty-three years as a teacher in special needs education, Miss Dalila expressed that she still enjoys her work. She loves the children and her work has shaped her into who she is today. She feels that it has made her a very patient and compassionate person. Many of the children have become part of her family.