Minister Joubert and Chair of SIAH Board Lead Meeting with the Staff

Yesterday morning, the Minister responsible for agriculture chaired the first meeting with the staff of the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH). The focus was to enlighten them on the cabinet’s decision to assign co-management responsibilities of the institute to the Department of Agriculture and to establish a shared portfolio of management responsibilities between the Ministry of Education and the Department of Agriculture.

At the outset, the Minister provided a brief overview of the school’s performance, highlighting areas needing improvement in terms of professionalism. He emphasized that the merger of management would enable the two ministries to elevate SIAH’s standards. The Minister explained that the Ministry of Education would retain responsibility for ensuring SIAH’s compliance with the Tertiary Education Act and all educational and pedagogical standards as well as other statutory regulatory instruments governing Professional Centers. Additionally, the Ministry of Education will assist with professional development through pedagogical training for both full-time and associate instructional staff.

The Department of Agriculture will handle the long-term and day-to-day operations of the Institute. The Director of SIAH will report to the Principal Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

Furthermore, the Minister mentioned ongoing discussions with international institutions such as Egerton University in Kenya and University Malaysia to develop student capacity and create pathways for further qualifications. Addressing the attendees, the Chairperson of SIAH, Mr. Jean Alcindor, supported the Minister’s statements. He stated that the merger would transform SIAH into a professional center offering courses beneficial to the country. He envisioned the institute as an exemplary farm that attracts both the public and students.

Mr. Alcindor also noted that the board is aligning with the National Development Plan and rebranding the institution by transforming SIAH’s leadership, strategy, mission, vision, and values.

Principal Secretary for Agriculture, Mr. Keven Nancy, provided an overview of the cabinet paper detailing the co-management responsibilities, including entity accountability, board appointments, and accreditation functions. Principal Secretary for Education Sector Development Department, Mr. John Lesperance, highlighted efforts to transform SIAH into a more innovative institution, collaborating with the Ministry of Education and MACCE to provide professional-level training. He urged the board to update the Ministry of Education for support when requesting staff training.

During the meeting, staff from the Institution had the opportunity to ask questions about learning equipment, mechanization, training programs, program development, technical staff recruitment, and infrastructure.

Also present at the meeting were the Executive Director for MACCE, Ms. Catherina Bonnelame, the Director of Human Resources for the Agriculture Department, Ms. Nedzit Azemia, Senior Accountant Agriculture Department, Ms. Enid Mathiot and board members Mr. Dean Gobin, Mr. Hendrick Herminie, and Mrs. Diana Hitier.

The Seychelles Institute of Agriculture & Horticulture is led by a director and a staff of forty-one employees, with a Board performing oversight functions as conferred by the Charter and the Tertiary Education Act.

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