Approval of New Teacher Policy in Seychelles: A Testament to IICBA’s Work

The Republic of Seychelles has a new teacher policy, the product of several years of collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA). The mission of the newly approved Teacher Management and Development (TMD) Policy is to improve learning outcomes and to enhance the quality and efficiency of the educational system in the island nation. The policy will go into effect in public schools from January 2021.

The TMD Policy is a testament to UNESCO IICBA’s local, contextualized, and evidence-informed capacity building work in Africa. IICBA’s Strategic Objectives for Capacity Development are threefold: to develop comprehensive teacher policies; strengthen teacher education institutes; and empower teachers’ professional development and networking. The TMD Policy reflects IICBA’s Goals and Objectives, as well as its commitment to SDG 4, the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa for 2016-2025.

To create the TMD Policy, IICBA provided technical assistance to the Seychelles Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development beginning in March and May 2018. In October 2018, Program Officer for Teacher Education, Dr. Binyam Sisay Mendisu, met with the Teacher Management and Development Core Team, headed by Mr. Alex Souffe, and supported by Ms. Rosianna Jules, Director of Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education. The joint team analyzed issues facing teachers and their ramifications on the education system, and agreed to address them holistically through teacher education, management, accountability, governance, and social dialogue. IICBA shared its recent experience supporting teacher capacity building in Uganda and Burundi, and drew upon its framework for teaching policies and learning outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. UNESCO’s nine key dimensions of a comprehensive teacher policy were also used to guide the consultation and policy development process.

Throughout 2019, the Seychelles Core Team cemented their objectives and intervention plans, using IICBA’s guidelines and feedback. In July 2020, the new TMD Policy was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and is set for implementation next January. It will be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness by Mr. Alex Souffe, and reviewed every five years.

Dr. Binyam Sisay Mendisu (center) with the policy development team in Seychelles in October 2018.

The need for education reform in Seychelles was emphasised by the decline in student achievement—with many students performing far below the national target of a C grade—and by growing concerns about an ineffective, unmotivated, and unregulated teaching force. A report in 2017 recorded that the majority of primary teachers, 65%, do not have a teaching qualification.

Therefore, the TMD Policy aims to bring a greater sense of professionalism and standardization to the teaching profession. To illustrate with one example, under the new policy, continuous teacher development will be systematized.

The Seychelles TMD Policy represents the first time IICBA has provided technical support for teacher policy formation in a small country with a limited number of schools and relatively healthy government funding. IICBA has expressed confidence in Seychelles’s capacity to carry out its policy objectives. Surely, Seychelles will not be the last nation that IICBA guides in the development of far-reaching teacher policies.

Mr. Alex Souffe and Ms. Rosianne Jules speaking to the press about the approved policy. (Photo: Thomas Meriton)

To learn more about the adoption of the TMD Policy in Seychelles, go to