Proud to be a Seychellois
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I am a 24 year old islander who practises as an advocate in the Seychelles courts and during out-of-office hours commits her time to empowerment of young people through my role as Speaker of the 11th cohort of the Seychelles National Youth Assembly.
As a person who strongly believes that social human rights should be upheld first and foremost before people can diligently exercise their political human right, I am proud that my community places education and health as a priority.
Education- universal access to primary education
A brief explanation of the education system in the Seychelles:
At the age of 4 years old it is compulsory that children enter the education system. There is the option of State schools in each district or three private fee-paying schools. A child must remain in school till the age of 15 years old. If they choose to remain in the education system they move to post-secondary schools which include schools to pursue A levels, technical skills, maritime, farming, teaching, nursing and business studies.
Persons who pursue A levels usually opt to continue to tertiary education. A great effort to uphold meritocracy has meant the State funds the tertiary education of students who are able to achieve a minimum of 3 ‘Cs’ in their A levels. This has meant for many years students were sent abroad for tertiary education but nowadays if the University of Seychelles offers the course then the students pursue the course in their home country.
In the other institutions the top student is rewarded with a scholarship in their field. It is important to note that all this educational institutions are free of charge for locals and if funding is provided for tertiary education then the student undertakes to return to the country to work for a number of years.
Yes, I am proud that in the Seychelles we have almost achieved universal primary education. Education is a priority and the best means to ensure social mobility. However there will always be room for improvement. More attention needs to be given to young people with a disability. Although there is a school that caters for all students with disabilities, save for the hearing-impaired who have their own specialised school, there is a lack of specialised teachers to cater for the needs of the students.
I do my part on the weekends by teaching mathematics and English to three students who are hearing impaired. Furthermore there is no support for students who have learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. Therefore although we can safely say the majority have access to education, more effort and resources need to be channel to the more vulnerable in our society.
Health- universal access to health care
In the Seychelles, health care is free of charge. There are clinics in most districts and a main hospital in the capital city. There is no need for medical insurance to be seen by a doctor. I am very proud that this has meant everyone, regardless of means, has access to health care. The largest proportion of the national budget this year was committed to the Ministry of Health.
When I hear the stories of people denied access to health care on the steps of hospitals because they do not have insurance I stand proud to say that my community will not allow anyone to die because they can’t afford insurance. Of course a small island with limited resources this often can become a strain of the economy but still it remains a priority for the country.
A healthy and educated person has time to think and can diligently exercise their political right when they reach the ballot box. What is a person who is too hungry or too ill to make it to the ballot box, let alone think who is best to put in power?