Education ministry launches professional centres autonomy transformation plan |24 July 2021
Tertiary Institutions (professional centres) across the country are inching ever closer to becoming autonomous, with the launch yesterday of the transformation plan charting the roadmap towards improving the education system in Seychelles.
During the ceremony held at The Guy Morel Institute (TGMI) yesterday morning, Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin shared his vision and aspirations for education in the future, with special emphasis on making institutions accountable, improving students’ performance outcomesas well as improving the nature and quality of training by affording institutions the opportunity to engage with government and other industry partners.
“The ultimate intention is to see education institutions taking control of their own agenda. Associated with the autonomy, is the concept of accountability. And specific to educational institutions, accountability is about ensuring performance. This is where we should focus our attention. Institutions must bring to the table their framework of accountability which specifies clearly the roles and responsibilities of each key playerand how performance of the learnersand equally that of the staff, are linked to the roles of these key players,” said Dr Valentin.
“You must think about how you as professional centres can use that autonomy to help build professionals for the socio-economic growth of the country. Hence, in your framework of accountability, you must not only indicate, but confidently show how you will create professionals who are responsible and disciplined. As we are giving you more independence towards institutional-based decision-making, we expect that you live your obligation to effectively serve the society, and form professionals based on your area of specialty. To a large extent, you are free to research, conduct enquiries, and suggest new approaches based on evidence, truth and more importantly peer-review. We are talking about building trust,” Minister Valentin said.
With institution autonomy, Minister Valentin hopes to see professional centres incorporating business into their functions. To date, professional centres are yet to submit proposals as to how to achieve such, although they are expected to do so in the coming weeks. According to the minister, proposals should be a point on the agenda of the think tank, also launched yesterday.
Once granted autonomy, institutions are afforded control over the direction of their respective institutions. In return, the ministry expects that they sincerely and responsibly deliver, train, innovate and help alleviate unemployment, in addition to modifying training to reflect the changing needs of the society.
“Institutional autonomy is a prerequisite to growth in the context of a transformational society. Autonomy allows institutions to engage with government, and industries to provide the best possible training. Autonomy also provides the context to build a functional governance system. I, as the Minister for Education acknowledge and endorse the setting up of a think tank of this nature, which brings together leaders of tertiary institutions in Seychelles, to navigate within the institutional autonomy and accountability discourse. I will support and encourage conversations and actions that get institutions to take control on the research, training and professional development agenda within the limit of their available funding,” the minister added, launching the institutional autonomy intent, setting the tone for growth in the tertiary education arena in Seychelles.
Executive director of The Guy Morel Institute (TGMI)Shella Mohideen presented the project tended to the Ministry of Education for endorsement as a starting point for the transformation. She spoke at length about how to strengthen the professional centres for autonomy.
Among the important components towards the successful transition are an effective communication plan among key players and stakeholders, assessment of the revision of legal framework guiding the establishments, and furthermore, the development and agreement of modern accountability framework based on performance management.
The think tank, with the main objective of discussing the various components and the implementation, as well as considering the reconstitution of the board in line with the legal framework, and capacity development for human resources, towards desired outcomes of high quality education and training.
In attendance for the launch were principal secretaries, directors and officials from the different professional centres, chairpersons and board members of the centres, as well as officials from the education ministry.