A second group of Zambian teachers is going to leave for the Seychelles this month following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Saturday to solve an acute teacher shortage.
Under the new 6-year agreement, 32 Zambian teachers, 23 for primary and 9 for secondary schools are expected in the Seychelles prior to the 3rd school term in September.
43 Zambians are already working in the public schools on the Seychelles’ 3 main islands – Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
The memorandum was signed on Saturday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, between the Seychelles’ Minister of Education, Jeanne Simeon, and her Zambian counterpart, David Mabumba.
The agreement “sets a significant milestone between our two ministries in our ongoing collaboration and it also marks the consolidation of a true partnership,” Jeanne Simeon claimed.
She explained such agreements also created a platform for the mutual benefits for the education professionals.
“Our local teachers have benefited from the expertise of the Zambian teachers in certain areas such as design technology and hospitality. Likewise, the Zambians have followed several development sessions notably in IGCSE and ICT,” she added.
The Zambian Education Minister, David Mabumba, declared Seychelles and Zambia enjoyed good and cordial relations in education and hospitality sectors.
He added that, given this background, the government did not hesitate to respond to the request for the Zambian teachers made by the Seychelles.
“The signing of the MOU will not only strengthen the current bilateral relationship but will also increase the cultural exchange between the two countries,” Mabumba claimed, noting that “the signing will open other future opportunities for expansion particularly in the education and hospitality sectors.”
The Seychelles announced a recruitment drive in August 2017 after being unable to find the teachers locally to fulfill the increasing demand.
Zambia had been the first country to respond and start the process which resulted in Saturday’s agreement.
The first group of 48 teachers had been recruited between May and July 2018, 2 of them have already left for personal reasons.
The teachers signed a 2-year renewable contract and would teach science, mathematics, geography, information communication and technology (ICT).
The Chairperson of Teaching Service Commission in Zambia, Stanely Mhango, explained that, to participate in the programe, the teachers had to go through an intense recruitment exercise including interviews and other aspects as well.
“We consider the number of years in the profession and experience and maturity, taking into considerations they are coming here as ambassadors for Zambia and also as ambassadors for the teaching profession,” he mentioned.
Furthermore, for the second group, the Zambian government has produced a training manual for the new teachers.
“This will be used for induction before they are finally deployed to Seychelles so that in terms of professional issues, they are up to date. And in terms of how they are expected to conduct themselves here in a foreign country, bearing in mind the cross-cultural issues,” Mhango added.
There are 26 primary and 11 secondary state schools in the Seychelles, a country based on 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Right now, there are 1, 050 teachers including 173 foreigners working in the public schools.