ELRC graduate gets President’s acknowledgement

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One of our 2013 Master's student, in person of Mr Shane Emilie recently received a letter of acknowledgement in his country, Republic of Seychelles. This spectacular letter of acknowledgement is directly from the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. James Alex Michel. Mr Emilie who recently graduated in April of this year [2014] completed a Master's degree in Education (Environmental Education) at the Environmental Learning Research Centre, Rhodes University. Mr. Emilie's research aimed at deepening understanding on the participatory and learning processes in two schools within the Seychelles Eco-School Programme. "This research partly reflects the work that I do as the national Eco-Schools coordinator and also describe the different ways that stakeholders namely teachers, students, parents and environmental organizations are involved in the Seychelles Eco-School programme". He added that during the past fifteen years of existence of the Eco-School programme it is the first time that an in-depth study was conducted and it has always been one of his goals to take up the challenge.

Mr. Emilie explained further that the Eco-School programme which has always been run by the government with support of other environmental organizations and he deemed it appropriate to inform the government and other organizations on the contribution of the former mentioned environmental education programme towards the implementation of policies promoting sustainable development. Mr. Emilie expressed that the Eco-School programme has always promoted sustainability within the schools' daily operation, whereby students and adults interact together to adopt more sustainable lifestyles in response to environmental challenges affecting most of the small island developing states for the benefit of the school, community and country as a whole. He added that since he resumed back to work after completing his studies at Rhodes University, he has been spreading the results of his findings to colleagues at the Ministry of Education and other environmental organizations and received some positive feedback.

Surprisingly two months ago he received a letter from the President of the Republic of Seychelles expressing his gratitude towards the successful completion of Mr. Emilie's study at Rhodes University, South Africa. Mr. Emilie pointed out that he was overwhelmed with joy when he read the letter by not only a great leader in the promotion of sustainable development in all small island development states but also a person whom he has constantly extended his gratitude for his contribution within the Seychelles Eco-School programme. The following is an extract from the letter addressed to Mr Emilie by President Michel, "I would like to warmly congratulate you the obtention of a Master's Degree in your chosen field. Your hard work and assiduity have been justly rewarded. I know that you will put the knowledge and experience that you have gained in the process to the service of the nation".

Mr. Emilie, expressed that he will do his utmost work at the service of the nation and already showing interest to develop several recommendations of his thesis into a project so as to promote and maintain the concept of the Eco-School programme amongst all concerned with the support of environmental organizations.

The Environmental Learning Research Centre is very pleased about this progress and wishes Mr. Emilie all the very best in all his endeavours in life and await his return back to Rhodes University to commence a PhD degree (If he so wishes). You have been a good friend to many here and we miss your presence.


Mr and Mrs Emilie celebrating the graduation at Rhodes

President of Seychelles

President of the Rebublic of Seychelles - Mr James Michel