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TSL 2018 Int’l Schools Debate to be held in Seychelles next year

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Press release issued by our Seychelles partner organisations

The Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) International Schools Essay Competition and Debate for 2018 will be held in Seychelles in July next year. Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Minister Joël Morgan made the official announcement at the Seychelles Ocean Festival schools prize giving ceremony held on the 24th of November. The prize giving ceremony was attended by Mr Karl Hansen, the Executive Director of TSL and founder of the TSL International Schools Essay Competition and Debate.

Seychelles has had a long association with TSL through various Memoranda of Understanding with National Botanical Gardens Foundation. The former Seychelles High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador Marie-Pierre Lloyd is a member of the TSL board, and many Seychellois students have participated in the international essay competition over the years, including being selected as finalists in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

The theme for the 2018 global essay competition and debate invites schoolchildren to explore practical ways to conserve and sustainably use our oceans, seas and marine resources. Through two phases of the competition children will be given the opportunity to share their best ideas for conserving and sustainably using the ocean.

The first phase of the competition will be through essays submitted by primary students (ages 7 – 11) and secondary students (ages 11 – 17). With the support of Teacher Champions, parents and schools, children from around the world will submit these essays to TSL and the finalists and honourable mention awardees will be announced early next year.

The second phase of the competition is the debate, which will take place in July 2018, and Seychelles has been selected as the host country. As a nation with strong cultural and economic ties to the ocean, the marine theme for the 2018 competition makes Seychelles a fitting host for the event. The debate will give Seychelles the opportunity to showcase our leading role in the Blue Economy as well as our institutional capacity for environmental education.

During the first phase of the competition, students will submit essays entitled: ‘My plan to protect and manage our oceans, seas and marine resources’. The word limit for primary students is 400 words and the limit for secondary students is 600 words. An international judging panel, drawn from experts and educationalists in the field, will select the winning entries for each age category. The essays will be judged for originality and creative thinking and the potential to contribute to a broad-ranging and constructive international debate. The deadline for the essay competition is the 15th of December 2017, so any schoolchildren or teachers who are not yet involved but would like to participate should get in touch with Mr Shane Emilie, Education for Sustainable Development Coordinator from the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development on 4283112. Finalists will be announced on the 31st of January 2018.

The debate will take place from the 2nd to 7th of July 2018, with primary and secondary student debates, educational ocean-themed visits and talks, and a special children’s conference all forming part of an action packed week. It is being coordinated by a National Steering Committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Human Resource Development. Most of the events will be taking place at the Savoy on Mahé, but other establishments and islands will also be involved. The event is expected to be attended by between 150 and 200 schoolchildren, parents and teachers from over 15 countries. The ocean is more threatened than ever before and the 2018 TSL International Schools Essay Competition and Debate promises to be an exciting solution centred event that helps to develop the future leaders of ocean conservation.

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