The Minister of Education (centre) and other high level officials met with Teus Korevaar (2nd right) on Monday. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Students of the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH) have the possibility of higher education prospects as high officials discuss areas of agriculture training with the Netherlands’ Aeres Training Centre International.
A representative of Aeres Training Centre International, Teus Korevaar, met with officials of the Ministry of Education and SIAH on Monday, to discuss the fields in which Aeres can assist Seychelles in terms of providing training and higher education opportunities.
The training centre in the Netherlands offers a wide range of education, research and activities in the fields of animals, animal welfare, botany and our environment. Its facilities include a poultry innovation laboratory, feed mill and veterinary training centre laboratories.
The discussions focused on new courses that can be offered at SIAH along with the opportunity for higher education such as degree courses, to ensure that Seychelles has young experts that can work in various agriculture related fields.
The Minister for Education, Justin Valentin, said that Seychelles “wants to move agriculture education to the next level. The has been a tendency in the past, to see only the non-academic students join the agriculture sector, and what we have seen now, is that we lack experts in agriculture.”
He added that his ministry wants to increase the standard of existing agriculture participants while also creating possibilities for a diverse set of learners to access agriculture education.
SIAH’s chairman of the board of directors, Jean Alcindor, emphasised that SIAH wants graduates to have access to future study possibilities in order to bridge the gap between what the school offers and what the country requires.
“We have done good work this year where the school has introduced an IGCSE in agriculture, which along with their advanced certificate, will give the students the necessary baggage to be able to move on to further opportunities,” said Alcindor.
He noted that Aeres is not the only organisation with whom SIAH is collaborating and that the school is also looking for other partners in the region, such as Kenya, Botswana, and Mauritius, to help students interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.
In March this year, with the aim of having students graduate with higher educational degrees in the field of agriculture to build more knowledge-based capacity in the sector, the University of Seychelles (UniSey) signed an agreement with the University of Bologna, Italy.
Seychelles’ agriculture minister, Flavien Joubert, present at the ceremony in March said that the MoU “provides an opening for collaboration in research as well as for scholarships so that our students can attend training in a subject that deals with agriculture and food science at the university in Italy.”
The Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture based at Anse à la Mouche on the west coast of Mahe currently offers two courses: Advanced Certificate in General Agriculture and Advanced Certificate in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscaping.