The Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) has been named by UNESCO - UNEVO as Africa's top innovation hubs and one of the world's 10 innovative technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.
The SIT which was founded in 2015 seeks to be a premier professional centre providing high quality technical and vocational education and training in the engineering, built environment and information and communication technology fields.
To achieve its ambitious goal, the institute is working closely with the UNESCO-UNEVO which is an international centre for connecting the UNESCO Member States worldwide to develop and strengthen TVET. The TVET sector in Seychelles is being guided by the UNESCO Education 2030 Framework of Action as well as the UNESCO TVET strategy 2016-2021.
According to Jeanne Simeon, Minister for Education and Human Resources Development:
As a testimony to our engagement one of our professional centers, SIT has been recognized as one of the UNEVOC centres participating actively in the skills for innovation – innovation-hub project – being piloted by UNESCO-UNEVOC.
The Institute's Director, Hubert Barbe told reporters that the recognition comes after the center has actively undertaken initiatives in sustainability, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
For instance, we have trained our students doing plumbing to install rainwater harvesting system and through this. We have partnered with different organisations to install these systems in different places in our communities,” he explained.
The institute further equip students with lecturers skills. Lecturers are being trained through a programme with La Reunion – a French department in the Indian Ocean designed specifically to train future technicians in the installations of photovoltaic panels and solar water heaters.
We are also training our students to retrofit containers as energy-efficient that can be used as offices,” said Barbe.
SIT students were also included in training and built the first-ever gabion rock barrage on the island nation through a project that emphasises a natural approach to advanced engineering. The innovation has curbed water scarcity and led to sufficient water supply for a farming community in the South of the main Island of Mahe, which for years has faced severe water shortages.
The Director General for TVET and Entrepreneurship in the Ministry for Education, Jean Alcindor, said that SIT should be commended for greening its curriculum.
It is two years now since SIT has entered into a partnership with UNEVOC from which the institution has been recognized for its initiative for greening the campus, installing PV panels amongst others. And greening TVET is something that is very high on UNEVOC’s agenda,” stated Alcindor.
TVET representatives from Malta and Kenya are set to visit Seychelles -115 islands in the Western Indian Ocean later this year in a bid to learn more about what the institution is doing.
Our initiatives and that of the other nine TVET centers will be used as a basis for a manual guidelines being developed. This will at later stage be shared with TVET centers in other countries,” explained Barbe.
The Seychelles Institute of Technology is also considering introducing an innovation award for its students as an incentive to motivate them. The project also acknowledge the need to embrace green technology, The initiative aims at utilising skill-set to assist in advancing the country's development agenda.
Header Image Credit: CC-BY, Seychelles National Agency
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