IECD Inaugurated as Category 2 Centre under the Auspices of UNESCO

Early Childhood Care and Education agenda in Seychelles has been propelled to the next level through high level strategic direction, strong institutional leadership and multi-sectoral collaboration” remarked the President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan in his speech to officially inaugurate the IECD as a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO during a ceremony at Eden Bleu Hotel on 27th October.

The South African Minister for Basic Education, Ms. Matsie Angelina Motshekga was the guest of honour at the ceremony which was also attended by Members of the Cabinet of Ministers, including the Minister for Education Dr. Justin Valentin, other high-ranking Government officials from ECCE sectors, as well as members of the Board, Management and staff of IECD. Members of the diplomatic corps were also present.

Mrs. Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education (UNESCO) Keynote Speeech

The ceremony also saw the launching of the Seychelles Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education: A Multi-Sectoral Policy Document for all partners and Stakeholders in the Early Childhood Care and Education, Version 2.0 2023. The President as well as dignitaries each received a copy of the framework document from the CEO of IECD, Mrs. Shirley Choppy.

Commenting on this celebration of the achievements of the IECD for gaining global recognition and designation as a Category 2 Centre for ECCE under the auspices of UNESCO, President Ramkalawan describes “this feat is of immense significance not only to the Institute but to our small island nation, which is showing that we may be small in size, population and economy but we can stand with the giants in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education”.

“As host country, Seychelles will remain steadfast in its support for the Institute as a Centre of excellence, a model of good practice and deliver according to its new international mandate. We will assume our responsibility to provide the resources needed for the administration and proper functioning of the Centre, in accordance with the UNESCO Agreement” continued President Ramkalawan.

Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO makes IECD a global reference in early childhood care and education. It is testimony of high standards and best practices adopted by the institution. This in turn will bring about new opportunities in terms of training and capacity building, and sharing of experiences with other member states and international organisations for IECD staff, explains the Chief Executive of the IECD, Mrs. Shirley Choppy.

In video message played at the ceremony, the Assistant Director General for Education at UNESCO, Mrs. Stefania Giannini says IECD is very well positioned to be a leader in early childhood care and education globally.

Following on Mrs. Giannini’s comments, the Chairperson of the Governing Board of IECD Category 2 Centre, Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope congratulated the IECD and Seychelles for this great achievement which she reminded are not without its challenges. “The road ahead is arduous but not unsurmountable” she says adding that she has full confidence in IECD’s capacity and the commitment of the Seychellois authorities to deliver. Dr. Marope commented that ever since the start of this journey, Seychelles has had strong political will and support from the highest level, past and present. She thanked President Ramkalawan for his involvement and support.

IECD’s new logo was unveiled and the President, First Lady, the South African Basic Education Minister, Dr. Marope, Minister Justin Valentin, IECD Chairman David Savy and CEO Shirley Choppy cut a cake to symbolize the inauguration and IECD’s achievements.

The ceremony ended with an interpretation of IECD’s new theme song, “The Promise” composed by Mr. Joseph Samy. He was accompanied by the Twinkle Choir comprising of children from all schools on Mahe Island.