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Seychelles now ranked 44th in First Global Challenge | 09 October 2020

Source: Seychelles Nation Newpaper

A souvenir photograph after the meeting (Photo: Thomas Meriton)

Team Seychelles is now ranked 44th in the First Global Challenge following an overall final assessment by the judges of all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects handed in by 175 participating countries.

It was the chief executive of the National Institute for Science, Technology & Innovation (Nisti), Xavier Estico, who made the statement after Team Seychelles had paid a courtesy call on Vice-President Vincent Meriton at State House, yesterday morning.

After coming out 121st out of 160 countries in the competition held in Dubai last year, Seychelles took the 45th position in the virtual competition held between June 27 and September 25, 2020.

Mr Estico explained that the 45th position for Team Seychelles announced two weeks ago could have been preliminary and that the 44th position on the First Global Challenge website bears testimony that Seychelles have the potential to perform very well on the global level.

“Now when all the participating countries scroll down the score sheets they will see Seychelles’ position. This is very meaningful to the country because it shows that we have students who can perform very well at global level. It is an encouragement for the country,” Mr Estico said, noting that with the support of stakeholders, Seychelles will surely climb higher up the ladder in future competitions.

“Our ultimate dream is to bring the award to Seychelles one day and I may live long enough to see this,” he said.

Team Seychelles who was received by Vice-President Meriton at State House yesterday comprised students Tanmay Raghwani (Independent School), Russels Arachchi (Beau Vallon secondary), John Paul Soubana (Anse Royal secondary), Ashlee Barbe (Anse Aux Pins primary), Mikail Rudchenko (International School Seychelles), Miguel Malbrook (Anse Boileau secondary) and mentors Joseph Raj and Cindhuja Kamalja, including professor Ralph Etienne Cummings from John Hopkins University (USA).

Congratulating the young innovators on their achievements, Vice-President Meriton reminded them that when we work as a team on common and shared visions, amid obstacles and challenges, we can do a lot for our country.

“We need innovation. Innovation is not an option but it’s the way forward. As you will have demonstrated, young minds have no boundary. Everything is limitless. Your imagination will make you fly and soar and I think what we need to do is that you must be rooted to the ground and see how your aspirations can really take you there. We are proud of you,” Vice-President Meriton said, noting that their achievement is just the beginning of a long journey which have started with a very small step.

The students’ achievement follows 13 gruelling weeks of social media and technical challenges faced by the world through climate change, energy production and consumption, including the topical coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic among others.

“Coming out 44th out of 175countries is no small feat. Your parents, your team of mentors and the belief in yourselves and the application of this belief are the two realities that have brought you where we are today. So thank you very much and once again I am very proud of you,” Vice-President Meriton said.

Vice-President Meriton called on the students not to be afraid of ideas coming into their heads as there are people out there ready to support them.

He said that ways should be found to emulate their work in schools and communities for better mass appreciation.

The students on their part thanked the office of the Vice-President and Nisti for their support and their mentors for guiding them through the competition.

Ashlee Barbe, P6(1) Anse Aux Pins primary school said that she was chosen to be on the team as a result of her academic level. On the team, she gave her input with regard to the invention of the robot’s helmet and in presenting the project online. She called on her fellow students, especially the girls, to participate in such activity as it will help them to improve their learning.

With regard to innovation surrounding Covid-19, Professor Cummings from one of the world’s biggest medical research universities (John Hopkins University), said that the university is undertaking innovative research for a cure against the virus. He said he was really happy to have been part to guide the Seychelles team and hailed the country for valuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.



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