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Bilateral meeting is held with the Principal Secretary of Education of Seychelles on the side-lines of the 22nd Commonwealth Education Ministers Meeting

Basic Education Director-General Mr Mathanzima Mweli, held a side meeting with the Principal Secretary of Education of Seychelles, Mr John Lesperance, on the margins of the 22nd Commonwealth Education Ministers Meeting on 16 May 2024, in London. The counterparts reflected on the study visit of the Minister of Basic Education of South Africa to Seychelles; at the invitation of the Minister of Education, Dr Justin Valentin, in October 2023. The focus of the Ministerial visit was to exchange lessons on development and implementation of Early Childhood Education. The responsibility of ECD in South Africa migrated from the Department of Social Development (DSD) to the DBE on 1 April 2022. The function shift is aimed at standardising the ECD, to ensure structured learning in the sector, including a managed curriculum. As the function is new, the DBE has identified partners and international actors to learn best practices from, and Seychelles is one of them.

The Republic of Seychelles also underwent a process of ECD migration from the Ministry of Social Development to the Ministry of Education in 2012. The migration came about as the government wanted to better align the country’s policies and strategies for ECD with the national education system. Similar to South Africa, the Seychelles migration was intended to ensure that ECD is an integral part of the education system making sure that the necessary resources and support are available so that all children have access to quality ECD. The Ministers agreed to establish formal cooperation between both countries, primarily on early childhood education; as well as other key areas including Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), STEM education, Entrepreneurship, as well as School autonomy and school effectiveness.

In discussion, the Director-General and the Principal Secretary agreed on the need to urgently convene a virtual meeting to discuss the possible areas of cooperation in further detail, with a view to finalise a Cooperation Agreement to be signed by the Ministers. The Director-General and the Principal Secretary will subsequently work together to develop an implementation plan of the cooperation agreement that will ensure active implementation of the envisaged cooperation between both countries.

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