At last this beautiful day eagerly waited for had arrived!…that is…the grand opening of Belonie Secondary School Royal Street Wing, carried out by the President of the Republic of Seychelles Mr Wavel Ramkalawan and the Minister for Education Dr Justin Valentin, on a bright Monday morning.
The history of the school dates back to 1868, after the opening of the Roman Catholic school for boys by the Roman Catholic mission. In 1871, five Christian brothers from Mauritius took direction of the school and the school was later renamed St Louis college. In 1884, the Maristes brothers took charge until 1946. It was in 1948 that the school was blessed by Bishop Olivier Maradan and was named St. John Bosco.
With reform in the education system, school names were changed to reflect the district that they are found in. St. John Bosco which was a boy’s school became Belonie secondary school for boys and girls with the new secondary section from Primary 7 to 9. In 1996, the school became purely a secondary school until to date. The old block was demolished five years ago.
In his opening address, the Minister for Education Dr Justin Valentin stated: “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to the realization of this fantastic project. The construction of this new school block dubbed as the Royal Street Wing signifies our collective dedication to creating a conducive learning environment that nurtures the minds and talents of our students.”
Dr Valentin further averred: “Education is the cornerstone of progress and development and it is through institutions like Belonie secondary school that we lay the foundation for a prosperous future, one which embodies the spirit of innovation, modernity and sustainability, that we aspire to instill in our education system.”
To the students, the Minister expressed: “The Royal Street Wing serves as a beacon of possibilities offering you an environment that encourages curiosity, exploration and personal growth. Embrace the knowledge imparted by your teachers, challenge yourselves and develop the skills that will empower you to excel in all aspects of life.”
On his side, the President Mr Wavel Ramkalawan encouraged parents and guardians to foster an active engagement in their child’s education, as this will motivate them to achieve their full potential and be successful.
During the ceremony, five Long Service Staff who have worked tirelessly and with unconditional dedication to the students of Belonie secondary school for a number of years, were awarded gifts and other tokens of appreciation. This was an initiative by the Member of the National Assembly for Saint Louis District, Honourable Sathya Naidu, a past student of Belonie school.
The five staff members are:
-Mrs Lakshmi Pughazendi, science teacher for 27 years and Head of Department for 25 years.
-Mrs Dona Gunatilake, science teacher and Head of Department who served 32 years in the Education system
-Sir Bernard Dorasamy, Physical Education teacher and Head of Year who worked in the Education system for 41 years
-Mrs Marie Ange Moustache, school librarian and ECA facilitator for 42 years and 6 months
-Mr Feli Gome, Laboratory technician who has been in the Education system for 43 years and worked at Belonie school for 31 years.
The auspicious ceremony took place in the presence of the First Lady Mrs Linda Ramkalawan; the Vice-President Mr Ahmed Afif; Members of the National Assembly Honourable Gervais Henrie; Honourable Sathiya Naidu; Honourable Norbert Loizeau; eight Cabinet Ministers; Commissioner of Police Mr Ted Michael Barbe; Brigadier Mr Michael Rosette; Principal Secretaries Ms Merna Eulentin; Mr John Lesperance and Mrs Linda William Melanie; District Administrators for Bel Air, Mont Buxton and St Louis; Ministry Officials; Father Jean Alcindor; the contractor and team; School Council Members; Headteachers; Teachers; Parents; Students and other distinguished guests.