Seychelles UN expert urges technical vocational education to foster blue economy

Following his first visit to the country, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, said that technical and vocational education and training, and collaboration with industry and enterprises “must be strengthened to ensure that the Seychellois acquire the skills and competencies needed to build the nation.”He noted a lack of dedicated, training teachers, a trend he called “very alarming” and said that the profession “is not attractive enough” for the quality education needed.“If the quality of education is to improve, measures must be taken to restore the esteem of the profession, as well as teaching conditions, to ensure the best students are attracted to teaching,” Mr. Singh said, warning that recent gains made in education are at risk if the crisis in teaching recruitment is not urgently addressed. During his eight-day visit to the Seychelles, which started on 14 October, Mr. Singh met with President James Michel and other senior Government officials, as well as representatives of civil society, teachers, and students.“The active participation of all sectors of civil society, including teachers, students, their parents and communities, is vital for a well-functioning national education system,” the UN independent expert said during visits to primary and secondary schools and public universities on the main island of Mahé.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. Mr. Singh will present his report to the Council in June 2014.Among the recommendations expected in his report will be continued support for the President’s National Renaissance Program.“This program provides a blueprint on how the serious social issues being faced by children at home and in schools can be addressed, but it can only succeed if parents and communities are actively engaged in dialogue and actions to find solutions together,” said Mr. Singh.“Strengthening personal, social and civil education in schools, and enhancing discipline in schools, are important means of addressing this challenge.” read more

Prisoner of War suit from Gulf War to go on display for

A never seen before Prisoner of War suit from the Gulf War is to go on display at the RAF museum as  part of a major renovation to mark a century in of the force’s time in service.The suit “which embodies the spirit of the RAF” was donated to the museum by Squadron Leader Robbie Stewart, a navigator who was shot down with his pilot by a surface-to-air missile during a low-level night attack whilst flying in Iraq.They were captured by Iraqi forces and badly beaten during their interrogation and six week imprisonment.Maggie Appleton, CEO of the museum, said: “The suit is a very powerful and moving statement to make of RAF friendship and humanity that really does embody the spirit of the Royal Airforce. “When we show it to people It is that pause, it’s a really moving object. It has quite a presence in there I think. You can see the story but you can hear the story as well from him and his colleagues.”Set to open on Saturday, the museum also features three new exhibitions, with one titled The RAF in an Age of Uncertainty, reflecting the rapid economic and political change from 1980 to present day. Two of the enormous four propellers of the Short Sunderland, a flying boat, dwarf Year Two children from Colindale Primary School as they watch from a viewing gallery “The RAF in an Age of Uncertaintiy” celebrates the 100 years of the RAF’s existanceCredit:David Rose The museum has undergone a £26 million refurbishment, creating an interactive experience of the RAF’s century-long story with a transformed layout, three new exhibitions, an exclusive ‘Gnat’ flight simulator and a model of the primed F-35 Lightning jet. Two of the enormous four propellers of the Short Sunderland, a flying boat, dwarf Year Two children from Colindale Primary School as they watch from a viewing galleryCredit:David Rose "The RAF in an Age of Uncertaintiy" celebrates the 100 years of the RAF's existance A famous Sea King helicopters, flown by Prince William at RAF Valley, is also a new addition to the museum. Sir Peter Luff, the Chair of the Fund, said: “As a pioneer and leader of international aviation, and in its Centenary year, the Royal Air Force deserves a world-class museum.“Now, thanks to National Lottery players, visitors can explore the powerful, inspiring and often surprising stories of the world’s oldest independent air force in a dynamic new setting.”Sir Roger Carr, chairman BAE Systems, said: “The histories of the Royal Air Force and BAE Systems have been inextricably linked since the foundation of the Royal Flying Corps.“Since 2014 we are proud to have been a Founding Partner for the regeneration of the RAF Museum.  The Museum plays an important role inspiring the next generation of airmen, airwomen and engineers.” Another focuses on the future of the RAF, with the US Air Force Predator drone on display alongside a debate table encouraging visitors to discuss the future of air and space security and how the RAF is adapting.Ms Appleton added: “The RAF is absolutely diverse in welcoming airmen and airwomen totally and utterly, and all different backgrounds and trades are all recognised. “That’s why we don’t have an exhibition about women in the RAF because women are part of that broader RAF story, they are actually integrated into every RAF storyline. It’s a diverse and integrated story.”A 1930s doll of airwoman Amy Johnson is on display, showing how pioneering she was at the time, among other artefacts including sand from the Stalag Luft III, the site of the Great Escape.The new museum also illuminates the story of Noor Kahn, who despite being from a family of suffering Muslim pacifists, flew to Nazi-occupied Paris to begin a career in covert RAF operations.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more