This month Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) donated around a thousand books to all the public schools across Seychelles. Each school will receive 25 copies of Lost Word – The Marine Realm of the Seychelles by Thomas Peschak, SOSF’s Director of Conservation.
On Friday 13th February, CEO of SOSF Michael Scholl and Island School Seychelles Project Manager Abi March, formally presented the donation to Education Minister Macsuzy Mondon. The minister expressed her gratitude for the generous gift and the commitment from SOSF and Island School Seychelles in bringing quality marine awareness to the youth of Seychelles.
We have already visited three primary schools and one secondary school to handover their set of books. Over the next few weeks we will personally deliver the books to the other 30 schools on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. When visiting the schools we will meet with the headteachers and arrange sessions with the teachers to familiarise them with the books and share ideas of how they could be used in their lessons to benefit themselves and the students. The books can be used alongside an activity workbook which will be available online and also used across the curriculum as a resource in subjects such as science, art and languages. The books are full of spectacular images and informative text about Seychelles’ unique marine environment. The aim is that the books be used by the whole school and be accessible to all teachers and students.
When we visited Beau Vallon primary last Thursday, we met with a group of students and showed them the book. They were in awe of the breathtaking images; they were thrilled by the sight of the whale shark feeding, they marvelled at the hawksbill turtle swimming head on toward the camera and squealed in delight at the many photos of sea bird chicks but showed apprehension at a land crab seemingly reaching out with its claws from a double page spread. It was brilliant to see how the Lost World brought the beauty of the Seychelles’ marine life right into the classroom. It is an excellent resource and will be one of the first glimpses many of our future marine ambassadors will have of the animals and habitats they will come to love and strive to protect.
Our visits to the schools also mark the start of our new campaign to bring marine education to the young people of Seychelles. Building on our time in schools in previous years, we now offer a range of lessons to all stages of the primary school programme. The lessons aim to compliment the areas of the science curriculum and offer students a marine element to the topics they are already studying. At last year’s SUBIOS underwater festival, Minister Mondon said “Increased awareness is critical in the endeavour to build an ocean stewardship ethic, in strengthening the nation’s science literacy, and in creating a new generation of ocean leaders”. We hope our work with students and teachers will help to achieve the minister’s goals.
We can’t wait to deliver the rest of the books to the schools and see more excited reactions like those of the Beau Vallon primary students!