New association to support community in education matters

A group of retired educators have formed a new association aimed at supporting the community in education matters.

The Seychelles Association of Retired Education Professionals’ (Sarep), a volunteer non-profit organisation, was launched yesterday.

Some 140 people have already contacted the association to become members and the General Assembly has been set for September 24 this year.

The aims of the association are to mainly promote service to the community in education related matters – through guidance and support in different areas and to carry out research based on educational issues and produce educational literature, articles or documents based on empirical evidence.

It was Jeanne Simeon who officially launched the association with its logo and motto ‘Service, Fellowship, Selflessness’.

“Today marks the start of an exciting adventure which a group of educators, retired from public life but still bubbling with energy, have envisioned so as to continue doing what they like to do best in the service of the community. This association will allow us to continue to be connected to education, to continue touching the lives of the young and not so young, to harness our collective experiences, knowledge and talents for meaningful community service. “Throughout our professional lives we have shown commitment and have been dedicated to excellence, so we would like our retirement to be a period of active engagement and fellowship, where through our wholehearted involvement we can continue making a difference.”

Mrs Simeon shared that as part of its mandate, Sarep will also cater for the well-being and happiness of its members through their educational and social projects such as workshops, talks and conferences.

“An inspirational saying goes ‘Once a teacher, always a teacher’. The association will allow us to be just that; continue to be connected to education, to continue touching the lives of the young and not so young, to harness our collective experiences, knowledge and talents for meaningful community service.”

The idea of having such an association germinated three months ago where a group of 13 retired education professionals came together, drafted its constitution, brainstormed ideas and projects and finally registered the association at the end of April 2022.

Dr Odile de Commarmond explained that the creation of the association is an innovation and a step in the right direction, especially at this time when the education system is being severely challenged.

“Every initiative and attempt to support educators and the wellbeing of our youth should be encouraged and commended and Sarep brings together retired education professionals with diverse background, experience and expertise.”

Further elaborating on their mandate, Dr de Commarmond said that Sarep is to speak with a united voice for its members, provide a forum for discussion of issues relevant to all members, promote communication, co-operation and fellowship among members, provide access to retirement programmes for members and provide opportunities for members to develop desired skills and knowledge.

“Our members will also contribute towards the development of the youth and educators and give back to the community through the facilitation of education programmes. We will also provide opportunities to facilitate social events and communication with the membership,” added Dr de Commarmond.

During the ceremony held at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (Site), Doris Bick and Marjorie Chetty gave a brilliant testimony about being a retired educator, while Stephanie Joubert and Reuben Lespoir dedicated two inspirational poems to the retired teachers.

The logo of Sarep has been designed by Clara Lepathy, a student from SIAD (Seychelles Institute of Art & Design) under the guidance of her lecturer Marcus Finesse.

Retired educators from the public and private sector can join this group for yet other exciting adventures where they will give tribute to retired education professionals, do research in areas of need, doing advocacy, give talks, visits to members who are sick/old, social gatherings around Teachers’ Week, do exchange visits locally and regionally and having high teas.

Source: Seychelles Nation

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