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Students, teachers learn more on energy efficiency, renewable energy |04 April 2019

Students, teachers learn more on energy efficiency, renewable energy

PS De Commarmond addressing students and teachers during the workshop

Science, technical enterprise teachers and students from secondary schools on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue have taken part in a one-day education, awareness and practical workshop to broaden their knowledge on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The working session held at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education’s (Site) auditorium and laboratory, was organised by the education for sustainable development unit in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MERHD), in collaboration with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

The workshop which targeted secondary students and teachers was aimed at providing the teachers with fun and comprehensive education materials that will enable them to discuss renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE/EE) with their students while also building upon existing energy education efforts, and to enable students to understand related challenge.

“This workshop today is very important as we want the future generation, especially the children, to learn about options to using renewable energy that will help them tomorrow to make energy efficient choices when they will have to make decisions,” said workshop leader Lynndina Essack, senior education officer at the education for sustainable development unit. Ms Essack noted that teachers and students will also act as peer educators to educate others at their respective schools and in the community on renewable energy and energy efficiency for the future.

After launching the working session on Tuesday, principal secretary for education, Dr Odile de Commarmond accepted a renewable energy science education kit for all secondary schools presented to her by the national focal point for IOC’s energy programme and Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec) representative, Mamy Razanajatovo.

The kit containing experimental renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment such a small PV panel, a wind turbine, a small fan and fuel cells, is funded by the European Union in collaboration with IOC. It is part of IOC’s regional energy programme aimed at raising awareness on RE/EE across Indian Ocean countries – Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros and Seychelles.

The 11 kits will help to prepare the students, under the supervision of their teachers, to take part in a regional RE/EE competition for secondary schools to be held by the end of August in Mauritius.

The IOC RE/EE school project should be beneficial to their schools and the community at national level and will be judged at national level in the first week of June. The winning team for the final in Mauritius will comprise only two students and a supervisory teacher. The winner of the regional RE/EE competition will get their project funded.

Dr de Commarmond said that by using clean energy, it is anticipated that by 2025, Seychelles green house gas emissions will reduce by 21.4%.

“To achieve that, people of all ages would need to adopt sustainable practices that would minimise on electricity consumption on a daily basis. Education for sustainable development can help towards this end,” she said.

Dr de Commarmond further said that the establishment of eco-schools programme has played a major role in promoting several sustainable themes such as energy across the daily operations of all schools. She noted that in helping the schools to go green, the eco-schools programme is still benefiting from various learning support materials and educational activities as a result of national energy campaigns and programmes. She extended her gratitude to the EU through the IOC for financing the training workshop and donation of the 11 science renewable energy kits. She also told the participants to seize the opportunity to learn more about renewable energy.

Dr Laurent Sam, renewable energy engineer from the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), also led a session during the training workshop. He said Seychelles through PUC produces only a small amount of renewable energy, at 2.5%, as compared to 97.5% of energy produced from fossil fuel.

He said that Seychelles plans to venture in a much larger scale of renewable energy production with a lagoon solar PV farm off Providence and wind farm on Ile de Romainville.

According to IOC representative, Mr Razanajatovo, the workshop forms part of the many trainings, capacity buildings and studies offered to Seychelles by IOC under its energy programme. The largest of those projects for Seychelles, supported by IOC, is the preparation of the Seychelles electricity master plan, now being implemented.

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