Seychellois teenagers are surrounded by an incredible marine ecosystem, but they do not have the opportunity to learn very much about it. Academy by the Sea exposes them to the fascinating world that lies beyond the beach.
Hello, I am the chairman of the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles and a member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. I moved to Seychelles with my wife Glynis in 1985 and through our diving activities we started to see ways in which we could help conserve local marine life. We began implementing several marine conservation and awareness projects, and one of the first of these was teaching children from the National Youth Service camp how to snorkel in the marine national park where the camp was situated. For many of the youngsters this was the first time they had ever...
The project will develop a marine science and awareness component for the education system in Seychelles. This will start at the secondary school level and carry on through to the polytechnic level with the development of a vocational diploma course for marine rangers and an optional tertiary education module in marine science at the university level.
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands with a land mass of just 455 square kilometres spread across some 1.4 million square kilometres of the Indian Ocean. The goods and services that the marine environment provides have largely supported the development of the two main pillars of the Seychelles economy: tourism, based mainly on the coast and islands, and fisheries.
As the Seychelles population has grown, so has the education system, but the University of Seychelles only opened in 2009, thus there is a shortage of personnel educated to the tertiary level to guide the country’s sustainable development – not least within the marine area. That said, there is a strong awareness of environmental issues in the country fostered by an active NGO sector, which has generated considerable awareness within primary and secondary schools.
This project seeks to continue and support these activities and to build on them by providing formal education components that can lead to a career in marine science and its associated fields. The project will build on the awareness-building activities of several programmes in Seychelles, including on-going SOSF programmes, through the development of formal education modules incorporated in the curricula to better prepare candidates for entry into the Environmental and Coastal Sciences Course at the University of Seychelles. The project also aims to provide support for mature and working students to enable those currently working in the field to participate in vocational education on a day or block-release basis through scholarships or bursaries.
The overall aim of the project is to raise awareness and capacity in marine science in the Seychelles. This will enable sustainable development in the context of an expanding Seychelles community that’s living in a world with global warming. This will be accomplished through the following specific objectives:
Building a generation of critical thinkers and fostering a sense of connection are what Anshena’s work at the Cape Eleuthera Island School in The Bahamas is all about. By challenging children to seek out the answers to their questions themselves and enabling them to visit important marine ecosystems, Anshena is encouraging new advocates for the environment and empowering them to make changes in their world.
Terence has been running the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles and working with the Unisey Centre for Environment and Education (UCEE) for many years. He is a long-standing grant recipient from the Foundation. His work has been to make the wonders of the natural world, and the incredible heritage of Seychelles, available to children and young adults. By learning and immersing themselves in nature, Terence hopes to guide children to the best environmental solutions and help older youth on a path to study the natural world at university.
Jonas works in one of the world’s marine wonders, Raja Ampat in West Papua, Indonesia – but his heart knows that social justice and environmental conservation go hand-in-hand. His project therefore aims to build a safe learning centre to provide free education to children and teens, through his Child Aid Papua Foundation. Here, Jonas believes that local communities – many of whom have not benefitted from tourism and rapid development – will have a chance to learn about and understand their changing world. He wants to empower young people with skills to help implement their own change and direction.