“Today marks the observance day for children in Seychelles, and let me begin by wishing them all a Happy Children’s Day.
“June 1 earmarks the date when we celebrate and honour the beloved children of our small island nation. They are, after all, the most valuable resource of our country.
“Children’s Day (June 1) is always one of the most exciting and long-awaited dates in the school year for children in Seychelles. But, for the second time, this celebration has to be adjusted, just like many other events and activities in our lives. However, although Children’s Day, this year, is not commemorated with the same degree of excitement and anticipation that would be fitting for this special day, it still radiates joy and happiness in our hearts. It is a day when children should examine their dreams and take a few moments to appreciate every opportunity available to them.
“Indeed, this last year has been a year of adversity for our children. We have faced the most severe global education crisis, and, one of the biggest challenges for children has been to cope with the continuous interruption in their educational programmes. Sadly, our children have not been spared the implications of this crisis, which has affected their learning, social life, well-being, and socio-emotional development.
“However, through concerted efforts, the education community remained committed to addressing the challenge to ensure continuity of learning and positive outcomes for our children. With the renewed strategic direction in raising aspiration for worthwhile learning, the education system stepped up and adopted new innovative modes of learning – thus paving the way for a new era of digital learning in our schools.
“I take this opportunity to encourage all children to embrace and adopt these new ways of learning. I also thank all families for the support that they have been providing for their children at home. This is important because it is only by working together that the young citizens can achieve success.
“However, many a time, our children’s future can be threatened by certain immoral elements in our society. As the minister leading the education portfolio and, most importantly, as a parent, I also feel the need to urge all concerned organisations and parents alike to stay vigilant and, equally, protect our children, and promote a conducive environment for them to thrive.
“As the great and respected Nelson Mandela once said, “Each of us as a citizen has a role to play in creating a better world for our children.”
“On this occasion of Children’s Day, let us resolve to double our efforts to empowering and protecting the future generation who will hold our small country in their hands and lead us towards a brighter tomorrow. By giving them the love, care, protection and opportunity for a quality education they deserve, we all take our responsibility to contribute to their upbringing and lead them towards greatness.
“As a nation, our obligation is towards our children, to provide them with the best possible opportunities to help them understand and fulfill their true potential. I hope our children will turn out better than my generation or the one before that or even better than that of our forefathers.
“Children are a gift. Let us treasure them.”