SITE’s academic year starts

The Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin, has called on trainee teachers at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (SITE) to build philosophical statements, to be prepared to meet and engage with classroom realities and to build connections if they are to embrace the teaching profession.

He made the call to the second and third year trainee teachers during the institute’s assembly, held yesterday morning, to start the academic year.

Present were the principal secretary for Education Services, Merna Eulentin; Directorate for Resource Development in the Ministry, Dr Linda Barallon; SITE’s director, Luciana Lagrenade; and SITE management and lecturers.

Elaborating further, Minister Valentin said that building their own philosophical statements will guide the trainee teachers through this journey and hopefully help them to identify the raison d’être for joining teacher education.

“You are on an exciting journey and you need to trust this journey. You have to stand strong against people who will discourage you and to get them to realise that it’s a career of your choice and you’ve made that choice,” Minister Valentin added.

The minister said that his philosophical statement during his time as a teacher was “to give students the best possible deal” and which has guided him all along until today in his position as a minister.

He noted that as he has no copyright on his philosophical statement, it can be borrowed or be adapted by anyone to be used in their style or in their own way.

“Each time you feel down or you feel discouraged, you can always revert to your philosophical statement. The statement will be like your peer on this fantastic mission,” Minister Valentin said.

With regard to be prepared to embrace classroom realities such as noise level, differences, good and bad students, students with special needs, excellent and weak students, difficult and also good colleagues, students, parents and head teachers including lack of resources and at times no resources at all, among many others, Minister Valentin stated that while being at SITE to be trained as good teachers, they should also take the opportunity to ask or share experiences on how to tackle these issues so that they can create a file of good practices to enter their teaching profession.

Minister Valentin said that they need to be build connections with one another as in education one will not make it functioning solo given that people are made to be interdependent and teachers need help from other people to move forward in the profession.

He asked of them to use all possible means of connections available to plan, meet and visit each other to share ideas and experiences that will instill in them the characteristic of the message, ‘fer lekol gou’ (Make school fun/interesting).

In her address, Mrs Lagrenade reminded the students of the reasons they were back on training where she advised them to break or organise their goals into small pieces and to dissect each one and to establish what is needed to accomplish each one.

“You will of course need all your faculties to ensure the quality and effective learning SITE seeks from you for the quality and effective transfer of knowledge and skills to the learners you will teach next year and in the future,” said Mrs Lagrenade, who called on them to stay focused on doing the right thing.

During the assembly the students were introduced to the lecturers and the management team. The names of the new board members were also revealed with Georges Tirant being the new chairman. The vice-chairman is Annie Laurette, with Ghislaine Monthy, Fady Tirant, Fatime Kante, Steve Hoareau, Jimmy Petrouse, Luciana Lagrenade and Mavis Lespoir as members. The assembly ended with a performance by the institution’s choir.

SITE has eighty students in the second and third year while waiting for the entry of the first year students, the exact number of whom is unknown for the moment.

It has 20 full-time and part-time lecturers supported by 10 supporting staff.

Source: Seychelles Nation