Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture Enhances Education with IGCSE General Agriculture Course
Teachers from the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH) have recently undergone a training program to impart a newly introduced International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) course in General Agriculture. This innovative initiative aims to equip students with the necessary skills required for higher education, thereby bridging a crucial gap in the educational journey of SIAH students.
The training was facilitated by Timothy Venner from the University of Cambridge and conducted at the Anse Boileau Research Centre. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to encourage and motivate more Seychellois to pursue further studies in the field of agriculture, thereby addressing the current shortage of qualified professionals in the sector.
Addressing Skills Gap and Employment Needs
As stated by the Director of SIAH, Maryanne Marie, this initiative is not only aimed at transforming SIAH into a dedicated agricultural school, but it also intends to address the country’s requirements in the agriculture sector. There are many vacancies in Seychelles in the field of agriculture, and a lack of qualified individuals to fill them. This new IGCSE course will not only enhance the theoretical and practical teaching methods but also improve the assessment process, thereby bolstering the motivation and skill set of the students.
The University of Seychelles (UniSey) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Bologna, Italy, to promote cooperation in the fields of teaching and research. This agreement aims to encourage scientific and cultural projects of mutual interest, thereby providing students with opportunities to access higher education in the field of agriculture.
The MoU signifies an opening for collaboration in research as well as for scholarships enabling Seychellois students to attend training in agriculture and food science at the University of Bologna. Such opportunities will allow A-Level students inclined towards agriculture or food science to further develop their skills and knowledge in these fields.
Future Prospects for SIAH Graduates
SIAH, in collaboration with the Netherlands’ Aeres Training Centre International, is discussing potential areas of agriculture training to provide higher education opportunities for its students. This move is in line with Seychelles’ ambition to elevate agriculture education to the next level, thereby creating a pool of young experts in various agriculture-related fields. The chairman of the board of directors at SIAH, Jean Alcindor, emphasized that the institute aims to offer its graduates access to future study possibilities to bridge the gap between the school’s offerings and the country’s requirements.
The initiative also comes at an opportune time as the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with KEDAR Group Agriculture Projects in Israel, is organizing an agriculture educational tour in Israel. This tour will provide local farmers with an opportunity to learn new methods and technologies, particularly in green and climate-smart agriculture, thereby contributing to local agricultural production and sustainable food security.
The introduction of the IGCSE course in General Agriculture and the signing of MoUs with international universities are significant steps towards revolutionizing agriculture education in Seychelles. These initiatives will not only enhance the quality of agriculture education but also contribute to the country’s sustainable agriculture goals by filling the skills gap and catering to the employment needs in the sector.
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