Seychelles Country Report - Africa

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Representative to ALIVE: Jean-Claude Matombé
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2016 - Current Status

Seychelles: LVE in Schools, the National Media, the Corporate World and Government Ministries

Living Values Education in the Seychelles continues to be very active. For the past eight years, under the direction of the ALIVE Associate, a campaign that focuses on one of the core values has been selected. This has ranged from gratitude, respect, kindness and happiness in the recent past.

These campaigns are launched in a chosen school by the Minister for Education at the start of the school year and other schools then promote the value throughout the year. The campaigns are supported by the National media, through radio and television. A whole school approach is advocated and several training sessions have been held with the school community and parents. The feedback is very positive and the Living Values Education family keeps growing.

We have extended the values work to the corporate world and government ministries.

In 2015, we conducted a Train the Trainers marathon with a group of 66 Child Protection workers from the Ministries of Education, Health, Social Services and the Seychelles Police. Living Values featured high on the training agenda.

Promoting the values programme brings great gratification to the trainers and the appreciation is remarkable.

"Both my personal and professional life have changed remarkably. I am more at peace with myself and as a result my home is a more peaceful and happier place to be." ~ A parent

"We are eager and looking forward to promoting values in our work place to enhance relationship and unity amongst colleague.'' ~ Child Protection Trainer

"I would like to thank you for the enlightment of my staff through the values workshops. Everyone is feeling very positive and we have noticed the togetherness in the May Day activities organised on Friday, 1st May 2016,'' ~ Governor of Central Bank Seychelles.

In these past years, I have been unable to attend international events, but we have been closely following the development and eagerly await the programme of events for the LVE 20th anniversary celebration.

Ruby Pardiwalla
Director, National Children's Council
ALIVE Associate for the Seychelles

2008 June

The National Council for Children (NCC) is the focal point for the Living Values Education Program (LVEP) in the Seychelles. Ms Ruby Pardiwalla, NCC Director, is also the LVEP coordinator for Seychelles.

All schools both Primary and Secondary in the Seychelles are familiar with the LVEP as all School Management teams and school counsellors have been sensitised to the programme. To date, 14 schools out of the 35 have adopted the whole school approach to the programme.

Please click on this link to see a power point presentation of a secondary school implementing Living Values Education with wonderful results. (possibly a 2 to 3 minute download to view)

All schools both Primary and Secondary in the Seychelles are familiar with the LVEP as all School Management teams and school counsellors have been sensitised to the programme. To date, 14 schools out of the 35 have adopted the whole school approach to the programme.

Living Values Education Training using a whole school approach continued during the second half of the year 2004, mostly in schools on both Mahe and Praslin. To date, five more schools have followed the training, three Primary, one Secondary and one mixed, that is, Primary and Secondary, School for the Exceptional Child. The total of trained staff members for this period is 165.

As in previous schools, the teachers responded positively to the training. They participated actively and agreed that the LVEP would be a good programme to take forward in their respective schools. All training sessions ended with Action Planning where the staff planned how they were going to take LVEP forward. In most plans it was decided that the programme will be used at both school and classroom level so that every member of staff will be involved. A few suggestions given were: during assemblies a value will be presented and other associated activities will be carried out, morning talks with pupils will include discussions on a particular value, song, story, poem and poster competitions will be organised, LV clubs will be set up, values will be integrated in subjects, exhibitions and many others.

Apart from schools, four groups of Child Protection Practitioners, a total of 52 altogether were sensitised on LVEP. They were Social Workers, Police Officers, School Counsellors and Health Workers. The sessions were organised on a regional basis and the main aim of it was to enable the participants to be more aware of the values they possess and the same time be able to model these same values in their day to day practice at both personal and professional level. The sensitisation was well appreciated by all participants.

In an effort to enable parents to support the programme, a group of 15 PTA representatives from the Northern Region of Mahe followed a half-day sensitisation session on LVEP. This was conducted at the centre and the PTA representatives were given an overview of the programme and were engaged in a few reflection exercises.

It was evident that the participants shared more or less the same values the same ones they would like their children to practise as well as the ones they would like to see being practised in the community, country and the world at large.

Some time was spent on looking at ways in which such values could be practised at home to ensure a values based atmosphere in the home.

Once again participants expressed their satisfaction at having followed the sensitisation and agreed that it was a programme worth having in schools.

Response to the Living Values programme is very positive. The next step will be to conduct a formal evaluation to scientifically assess the impact.

2002 & 2003

In May 2002, an LVEP Train-the-Educator seminar was conducted for more than twenty educationalists from the non-formal education sector working with children. One of the recommendations stemming from this seminar was that LVEP be introduced in the formal school curriculum. The LVEP coordinator from Hong Kong and co-facilitator of the seminar, Mr. Christopher Drake, along with Ruby, met with the Minister of Education to discuss ways of promoting the programme.

Between May and September, 2002, working sessions were held between NCC and the Ministry of Education and Youth. This culminated in the organisation of another training session in September for a group of Deputy Heads and Studies Coordinators from all state schools on the main islands of Mah? Praslin and La Digue.

The four-day workshop was facilitated by Mr. Christopher Drake and Maryline Low Hong, the NCC inter- agency trainer, who had participated in a LVEP Train-the-Trainers workshop in Oxford, UK, earlier that year.

The workshop was opened by the Director General for schools, Mrs Jeanne Simeon, who said that there was "a need for people to learn to understand, determine and appreciate what was of value to individuals and the community and to develop attitudes and values that could enable them to live harmoniously." She also added that "educators are the shapers of behaviours and the ones who held the keys to instilling the ideals of universal values of peace, respect, cooperation, tolerance, unity and others in the learners." At the closing session the participants shared their plans in the presence of the Principal Secretary of Education who handed over certificates to the participants.

Tuesday, 2 October 2002, marked the opening of Teacher's Week in the Seychelles. To launch the week's activities a LVEP Conference was organised jointly by the Ministry for Education and Youth and the NCC.

The Conference was attended by Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the National Assembly, Head teachers and Members of the Parent's Education Council.

The aim of the Conference was to introduce participants to Living Values and to sensitise them to the positive impact that such a programme could have on the lives of children and the school atmosphere.

Children from Mont Fleuri School gave the participants an "avant-gout" of the LVEP programme by performing two songs.

Mrs Geva Rene, Chairperson of the NCC, welcomed the guests and reiterated our commitment to the children by reminding us of the message delivered by the children at the U.N Special session in New York earlier this year. "We have the will, the knowledge, the sensitivity and the dedication. We promise that as adults we will defend children's rights with the same passion that we have now as children. We promise to treat each other with dignity and respect. We promise to be open and sensitive to our differences. We are children of the world, and despite our different backgrounds, we share a common reality. We are united by our struggle to make the world a better place for all. You call us the future, but we are also the present"

Mr. Christopher Drake, LVEP Coordinator for Hong Kong, who in his charismatic style captured the audience's attention throughout his presentation, delivered the keynote address. Some of his words, shared below, were much appreciated by the listeners and it triggered a yearning to discover more about the programme:

"Recent years have also seen ever-greater recognition of the place that must be accorded to values at the heart of the individual, of society, our learning and life. The implications of all this for educators are immense and lay before them a tremendous challenge.

Education fails if its outcome is an individual who is intelligent, skilled and knowledgeable but unable to live, work and get on with others. We must not just learn about respect and understanding but to be respectful and understanding of others and their rights and freedoms.

True quality education must help individuals identify, and adopt, personal and social values that they can call on to guide the decisions they make, their relationships, work and life as a whole. It must help them develop a depth of character and a clear sense of their own identity, integrity and what they believe to be important in life. We must learn about the values that will guide us towards desirable, fulfilling and worthwhile outcomes in our actions and daily life as individuals in our own right, the masters of our own selves, but also as citizens of the world community.

To live in society is to accept the moral obligation, and civic duty, of being conscious that society comprises other human beings with rights and desires that must be acknowledged if not accommodated. The growth and development of moral values is not quantifiable in the same way as productivity or a national economy but these values are necessary for the maintenance of the social sub-structure. However insignificant it may seem, even the smallest of courtesies or expressions of civility can make life much easier and pleasanter for others, as well as contributing to the smooth functioning of society overall. In this way, as members of human society, each individual, and all of us collectively, are architects of the society of tomorrow; it is we who determine the future of humankind.

Our actions do have an immediate impact on other members of society and their effect includes the fact that, starting from a young age, youth but also adults, observe the actions of others and then emulate what they see.

This makes all of us educators by the example " good or bad " of our actions. In turn, this highlights the need for our learning processes " both formal and non-formal " to include ethics, spirituality, intercultural and international understanding and the implications that these have for our relationships. In a globalizing world in which no one is an island but all individuals are increasingly exposed to people of different cultures, conviction and outlook, social cohesiveness is under great strain. An education that leads to appreciation of our richly diverse heritage while also highlighting the common thread of our shared human identity and core values is of critical importance. The more we accept the personal challenge and responsibility of bringing these values back into our daily lives, the more everyone's rights will be observed and the more certain and secure the future will be. As educators one and all we must envision the future we want and commit ourselves to doing what we can do to weld the present to that better tomorrow.

Education is of particular relevance in our endeavours to promote a free, egalitarian and harmonious society since it is the human mind that is the birthplace of the scourges of intolerance, discrimination and disrespect for others' rights and freedoms. And let it not be forgotten that the human mind and heart is also the cradle in which, nurtured by education, love, kindness, respect and responsibility may grow and flourish for all."

The Conference was officially launched by the Minister for Education and Youth who said, "Let us try to bring values into the heart of education and the learning experience of our children and youth. Let us, through Living Values, promote a better world, a world in which we all live our values, love, trust and respect for each other and move into the future with cooperation and understanding."

The President in his message to the teachers on "Teachers' Day" also reinforced the fact that teachers are "the key to everything that we do in education for they also have a crucial duty to inculcate in children and youth fundamental values that are required to eliminate hatred, injustice, discrimination, hostility and other sources of conflict that are detrimental to global peace and harmony."

The Indian High Commissioner Mr. H. E Malay Mishra crowned the occasion by handing over a set of LVEP books to the Minister of Education and Youth. Mr. Mishra has generously sponsored a set of LVEP books for each school in the Seychelles.

The conference participants were exposed to a couple of LVEP activities and it was encouraging to see the fatigued Head teachers relaxing and enjoying the reflection exercises.

Participants of the September 2002 training session had these comments to make:

"This workshop has helped me better understand my own children as well as those that have been entrusted in my care."

"It has broadened my knowledge and skills as to how to go about instilling in others the benefits I've gained and how it could also help to minimise the behaviour problems we are encountering in schools."

"This will help me become a better person. Both my pupils and colleagues will experience the same thing."

"I've managed to analyse the values more in depth and the workshop has helped me to look at a lot of things differently."

"Without values nothing will work so I intend to invest my full energy and commitment in teaching it."

Wednesday 3 October 2002, Mr. Drake and Ms. Pardiwalla met with all the staff of La Digue school, one of the outlying islands. La Digue has a population of approximately 2000 inhabitants and the NCC is presently running a project on "Keeping Kids Safe" on that island which aims to reach out to each and every inhabitant.

During Mr. Drake's visit, talks were held with the Principal Secretary, Director General and Director of The National Institute for Education (NIE) on how to chart the way forward.

Between October 2002 and September 2003, 500 teachers from the main island have been sensitised to the programme. Most schools have been introduced to the LV activities in assemblies and through integration through different subject areas.

Two more teachers attended the Train the Trainer workshop in Oxford in July 2003.

In September 2003, a conference, " Understanding the place of Values Education in classrooms"was held for Senior Management staff, Ministry of Education and educators from primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions across the islands, one hundred and fifty participants in all.

The conference was conducted by Christopher Drake and Derek Sankey from Hong Kong Institute of Education. It was officially launched by the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education and the Minister for Education, unexpectedly attended the opening ceremony, hence confirming the Ministry's support to the Living Values Education programme.

In that same week a series of workshops were held for curriculum developers and teacher trainers from the primary and secondary curriculum teams under the theme, "Making Values Education possible in the classroom, working toward Values-Based Education."

During Christopher Drake's mission, constructive talks were held with the Minister for Education and his senior staff culminating in the commitment to adopt Living Values throughout all schools in the Republic.

A sensitisation session was held for the cabinet of Ministers and the Vice-President pledged government's support to creating a values-focussed approach to education and would like to see this approach extending to families and to the community.

The members of the National Assembly were also targeted and the session was very much appreciated by all present. They were taken through a values awareness exercise and the feed-back is that they would like a more intensive workshop where they could become more familiar with the programme and explore ways of introducing it into their communities.

Sensitisation is ongoing. Enthusiasm for the programme is high amongst teachers. The Ministry of Education and Youth is committed and supportive. Living Values has anchored firm roots and is well on the way to establishing itself in all Seychelles schools.

Sites: 14


Participants of the September 2002 training session had these comments to make:

"This workshop has helped me better understand my own children as well as those that have been entrusted in my care."

"It has broadened my knowledge and skills as to how to go about instilling in others the benefits I've gained and how it could also help to minimise the behaviour problems we are encountering in schools."

"This will help me become a better person. Both my pupils and colleagues will experience the same thing."

"I've managed to analyse the values more in depth and the workshop has helped me to look at a lot of things differently."

"Without values nothing will work so I intend to invest my full energy and commitment in teaching it."

Some teachers' comments after having implemented the program.

  • "I've noticed that my students are more tolerant and loving towards each other. They tend to help each other more and above all show much more respect towards each other and their teachers."

  • "The word values have become THE word around the school amongst both teachers and students. Efforts to change are being made by all."

  • "Living Values has been introduced to all teachers and students, most activities conducted have values incorporated into them. The LVEP has helped to curb some discipline problems among students and it's much more fun teaching them."

  • "Our parents support the programme and we are going to involve them in some of our activities. Our job will be so much easier".

  • "Personally the programme has helped me to be more understanding, patient and tolerant. I view myself differently. I am more positive in my approach to life."