UN Youth Seychelles was honoured to have Mr Daniel Gordon as our Youth Consultant and Ministry of Education Intern for a month (July – August). Daniel is from New York and attended the Youth Assembly at the UN in 2016. He has great experience in organising Model United Nations (MUN) in his school and various other activities. His work at the Ministry of Education focused on programme proposal that will boost kids with collaborative qualities, understanding, and diplomacy along with making a series of presentation to teachers, students, and others about the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Such exchange provide a basis of learning from global peers and also sharing with them our own initiatives. It ensures that the SDGs are considered and implemented earlier on in the educational systems at an early stage and maximum educators are aware of it. UN Youth Seychelles would like to thank the Ministry and everyone who assisted to make this programme a productive one. The proposals and recommendation made will be used to shape UN Youth Seychelles future programmes.
their findings along with the UN Youth members. They stressed on technology and extracurricular activities.
The Ministry of Education interns have left the island with a significant impact behind them. Their presentations on the SDGs were enjoyed by the students of all ages: from Anse Royal primary school to the Seychelles Institute of Technology. Other schools visited by the interns included Anse Boileau secondary school, La Digue school and Maritime school. Mr Daniel Gordon is well known for his experience in organising school conferences especially Model United Nations thus his role was to develop a framework for MUN, diplomacy programme and other opportunities that we currently do not have access to.
Questions for the interns*consultants:
Once the CEO of UN Youth Seychelles, Annarose Clarisse, told me about the opportunity to partner with the Ministry of Education in Seychelles, I was eager to delve into the educational policy and the student life in schools. Additionally, visiting schools throughout the country would give me a local and national perspective of the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 which are designed “to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path.” Through a partnership with the University of Seychelles as well, I was able to develop a project proposal to introduce Model United Nations across the country as a tool for education and practical leadership skills.
Daniel. G with Ms Annarose Clarisse at the UN Youth Assembly 2016 in New York UNHQ
Besides a gecko jumping out over my hand from a box of my cereal, I was surprised by the number of expatriate teachers in secondary schools. At almost every school I visited, I discussed with the head teachers about the lack of human resources within the education system, especially with the shortage of Seychellois teachers. Although there is even a shortage of teachers in the United States, especially in rural and urban low-income areas, the problem is exacerbated in Seychelles due to a unique conundrum of balancing languages in a trilingual system.
Arrival in Seychelles
The most memorable part of the internship was working with the students as they were interested in international affairs and the SDGs. All of the students were excited about the opportunity to make a change in a plethora of ways within their own community to create a sustainable future. Whenever I would ask students what they would do to create change, I could see that they were brimming with innovative ideas to integrate within their own community.
One of the challenges I faced was traveling alone internationally. Never before had I traveled so far away from home, much less without family. In the United States, very few people even know about Seychelles or where it is due to the immense geographical distance between the two countries. It took two days of travel to arrive. In addition, there are cultural differences between the US and Seychelles ranging from food to technology that required adjustment.