‘Professional centres to function like a business’ |16 December 2020
“We need to start conceptualising the professional centres on a business model,”
the Minister for Education, Justin Valentin, said yesterday.
The minister was speaking after a visit he made to the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH), Anse à la Mouche, which ended at the Grand Anse Mahé primary school, the new temporary location for the institute’s administrative and academic studies.
Minister Valentin was accompanied on the visit by the principal secretary for Tertiary Education and Human Resource Development Linda Barallon; the director of SIAH, Maryanne Marie; the chairman of SIAH Raymond Brioche and other officials from the ministry.
Apart from witnessing on site the state of SIAH and delivering the message for future conceptualising the professional centres on a business model, the visit was also the start of a series of visits by the minister to the professional centres across the country.
Addressing the teachers and SIAH support staff in their new location on his first outing to a professional centre, Minister Valentin said post-secondary school leaders should rethink on how to deliver service to students that is based on a business-minded perspective.
He noted that SIAH, like for the other post secondary institutions in their own develop business model perspectives, has great potential, through the various crops, plants and livestock activities, including short courses that could be offered, to generate revenue to support its daily activities while at the same time it gets to train the students academically and practically.
For the time being, the SIAH building at Anse à la Mouche is being used only for practical sessions in farming and livestock as the classrooms and administrative block have been moved to the Grand Anse Mahé primary school since March 2020, to make way for the construction of a new, modern agriculture and horticulture institute which is expected to start in 2021 through a grant from the Kuwaiti Fund.
With limited space at the Grande Anse Mahé primary school, Minister Valentin called on staff and management to be patient until the new institution is completed and if their working environment gets less conducive while waiting, the ministry will try to get them a more conducive location.
The visit started at Anse à la Mouche, where the minister and his delegation toured the old infrastructure, including the animal husbandry where he witnessed the milking of a cow and parasite control on a goat by the learners.
Apart from some cows and goats, the institute also rears some chickens, pigs and rabbits. All of the animals and farming staff will be transferred to the Seychelles Agricultural Agency (SAA) research centre at Anse Boileau to also make way for the construction of the new institute.
From the animal husbandry, Minister Valentin was guided to the farming section of the institute where he also saw a demonstration of seeds sowing by the learners. He also visited the horticulture section.
At the SIAH’s temporary location at Grand Anse Mahé primary school, the visit ended with a meeting with SIAH management.
Mrs Marie said that it had been a privilege for SIAH to have been chosen for the start of Minister Valentin’s series of visits to professional centres.
She added that she is counting on the support of the minister to address some of SIAH’s current challenges, especially with regard to space constraints at their current location.
SIAH is left with 49 first year students for 2020, before the new intake for 2021, after 31 second year students have left the school after completing either their advanced or apprenticeship studies.
The accompanying photos show highlights of Minister Valentin’s visit yesterday.
Photos: Jude Morel/Ministry of Education