Seychelles expects to benefit more from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in teacher education, information and communications technology (ICT) integration, and in skills development for livelihoods after a two-day evaluation which started on Monday.
The COL European and African focal points – an intergovernmental educational organisation of the Commonwealth – are attending the meeting in Seychelles with the aim of reviewing their respective programmes and evaluating their progress.
The meeting being held at the Savoy Resort and Spa on Mahe, the main island of the island, will help to advance Seychelles’ plans for its online learning facilities.
The president and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, Professor Asha Kanwar, told the press that those attending the meeting are mostly from Ministries of Education.
She added that her organisation will learn from participants “what their priorities are and when we develop our annual implementation plan for the next year these priorities will be taken into account and help address them in a phased manner.”
The meeting was officially launched by Seychelles’ education minister, Dr Justin Valentin (centre). (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
The meeting, originally scheduled to be held in 2020 but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was officially launched by Seychelles’ education minister, Dr Justin Valentin.
The principal secretary for Education Sector Developmentin the Ministry of Education, John Lesperance, said that Seychelles’ involvement in the COL was one that is beneficial to the island nation.
“Seychelles is very active in the COL and we have greatly benefitted from it – they have even given us the financial resources in which we are developing an ICT centre at the Ministry of Education. They have also given the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE) the necessary support to develop its teacher education activities,” he elaborated.
Now that the latest COL meeting is taking place, its focal point will put forward the country’s wish to develop more technology in education and modernise its educational system.
Lesperance said, “It is important for us that the Commonwealth gives us support, especially in the introduction of open educational resources and capacity building for our teachers.”
Also, in a bid to build the country’s technical capacity, Lesperance talked about the plans to establish a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) school.
“A COL representative will also be based in Seychelles to help us develop our TVET activities,” he added.
Ashwar explained that this falls in line with their job of working in all 56 member states to promote education and training. One key element in providing quality education at low costs for students is the development of Open Education Resources (OER).
Ashwar revealed that Seychelles has developed “with COL’s support an ICT in education policy, which supports OERs.”
The meeting will end on Tuesday and the input will then be included in the annual implementation plan. The next and final zone where the COL will be holding its meeting is in Fiji for the Pacific Islands.
Source: Seychelles News Agency