Happy Constitution Day! |17 June 2021
Although all citizens should abide by the Constitution of the country, many unfortunately do not even know what this ‘Black book’ contains. To make it more accessible, a National Steering Committee worked on a simplified version of the Constitution which was launched on February 21, 2014, to coincide with the United Nations-recognised International Mother Language Day. Work to translate the Constitution into Creole was initiated by the director of the International Creole Institute in Seychelles at the time, Marie-Therese Choppy, followed by Leon Radegonde, Penda Choppy and Flora Ben David. The Creole translation of the document was realised in partnership with the Attorney General’s Office and the International Creole Institute and was officially published in 2018.
Due to the restrictions in place in relation to the current pandemic, we could not go on the streets to talk to our readers, but we still got the chance to talk to some students and teachers to know how important is the Constitution Day for them!
Kimberlee Pillay, S4, 15 years: “Constitution Day for me is a day where we sit down and ponder on our Constitution. We also have to think how to put into practice all the laws in our Constitution and live in harmony with others. I do not know the Constitution by heart but I do know some of the basic rights. As a young person, we need the Constitution to grow with and guide us in our lives. My wish is that everyone think and reflect on our Constitution and how the process started.”
Anjalie Cedras, S5, 16 years: “Constitution Day is the day where people show respect to the legal document which helps in the smooth running of the country. I still have to learn more about our Constitution but I am happy at my age I am aware of such a document and some of its laws. It is very important for the country to have a Constitution or else we would live in a disorderly society. Our country would suffer. I wish on that day that we all respect our Constitution and read it also to help us move forward.”
Liah Pillay, S5, 16 years: “Constitution Day is a day we come together and respect all the laws that have been put up to run the country and we thank all the people that worked on it. I do know the Constitution a little bit as I did some programmes on it and my dad also works in the National Assembly. Without a Constitution, the country will just go wild and there would be no peace. I wish all Seychellois to abide by the rules and follow the instructions because that’s best for us.”
Marie-Chantale Nicole, deputy head teacher: “Constitution is the legal document that is used for the country including all the laws for the citizens of that country. If people know about the Constitution? Honestly yes and no. Nowadays people are becoming more aware but still there are some people in the community who do not want to learn about the Constitution. I think we need more activities to sensitise the people even the students. I wish all Seychellois do reflect on the Constitution and do more research on their rights.”
Ronald Scholastique, teacher: “Constitution for me is a document that protects the rights of individuals and gives that human opportunities like everybody. Constitution guarantees impartiality. Not everyone in Seychelles is interested to know about our Constitution and I think we lack more education from both TV and written press. My wish is that more awareness is created around this subject and talk about the subjects that need our attention.”
Marc Mathiot, teacher: “Constitution is our legal document that dictates the fundamental laws for each citizen. I think without the Constitution, a country cannot exist. As an individual we need such a document to know our legal rights. In Seychelles, many know their rights but many are also not aware of their rights as may be they do not have access to the document. I wish the media help in educating our people and we all keep working towards the progress of our country.”
Compiled by Vidya Gappy