The following report has been drafted by Broken Chalk as a stakeholder contribution to the Republic of Vanuatu.
- Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) administers and manages the country’s formal education system composed of two years of preschool, six years of primary school, four years of junior secondary education, and three years of senior secondary education. [i] The six years of primary education have been compulsory and universal since 2010. Over 98% of elementary schools are public or government-aided Christian schools. [ii]
- Vanuatu has significantly raised the share of government expenditure dedicated to education compared to the total government spending. In 2020, 20.98% of the total expenditure was dedicated to education, increasing to 23.76% by 2021. In the progress report for 2021 and 2022, the exact government expenditure still needs to be mentioned. Nevertheless, the report describes progress in the education support program as satisfactory and anticipates that approximately 28% of the total government expenditure will be allocated to the education sector in 2022. This shows Vanuatu’s dedication and commitment to meet domestic educational funding objectives. [iii]
- Local educational groups encompass Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Technical Assistants (TAs) who provide specialised technical knowledge and assistance in educational projects or programs. These actors actively participate in evidence-driven policy discussions and monitor equity and learning outcome efforts to improve educational results. [iv]
- The multilingual character of the community has a significant impact on education. Bislama, the local pidgin language, is the prevalent means of communication nationwide. Children receive their education in French or English schools with a language policy promoting students to start their early education in their native vernacular before transitioning to French and English. [v]
- Vanuatu comprises 83 scattered islands, with 64 of them being inhabited. It is considered the most disaster-prone country globally, frequently encountering earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, and flooding. This poses unique challenges to ensuring education, educational materials and access to continuous education in emergencies. [vi]
- With about 50% of Vanuatu’s population being of schooling age, the educational system has considerable influence and responsibility. The primary education sector accommodates most students, making up approximately 59% of the total student population within the education system in any given year, with enrolment rates increasing. Participation levels in pre-school and secondary school are somewhat lower. Although registration has risen recently, many students drop out at the junior secondary level. [vii]
- Broken Chalk is delighted to see Vanuatu’s dedication to advancing Gender Equity and Inclusion in Education. This commitment is evident through initiatives to increase awareness of Gender-based Violence and foster equitable educational opportunities, particularly by enhancing the participation of girls and women in higher education through the Gender Equity in Education Policy (GEEP) reviewed in August 2018. The policy aims to secure equal opportunities and rights for every individual in education and training, with its overarching objective being to cultivate a proficient and capable human resource pool that can contribute to the nation and the global community. [viii]
By Inja van Soest
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[i] GlobalPartnership.org. “Education and Training Sector Strategy (VETSS) for 2020-2030.” GPE Transforming Education, 2020. https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/education-and-training-sector-strategic-plan-2020-2030-vanuatu. (Accessed 12 Sept. 2023) P. 3
[ii] GlobalPartnership.org. “Vanuatu | Where We Work | Global Partnership for Education.” www.globalpartnership.org. GPE Transforming Education, 2020. https://www.globalpartnership.org/where-we-work/vanuatu. (Accessed 12 Sept. 2023)
[iii] GlobalPartnership.org. “GPE 2025 Results Framework for Vanuatu.” GPE Transforming Education, 2022. https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/gpe-2025-results-framework-vanuatu. (Accessed 12 Sept. 2023) P. 1.; Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “2021-22 Vanuatu Development Program Progress Report,” Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2021.
[iv] GlobalPartnership.org. “GPE 2025 Results Framework for Vanuatu.” GPE Transforming Education, 2022. https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/gpe-2025-results-framework-vanuatu. (Accessed 12 Sept. 2023) P. 2.
[v] GlobalPartnership.org. “Education and Training Sector Strategy (VETSS) for 2020-2030.” GPE Transforming Education, 2020. https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/education-and-training-sector-strategic-plan-2020-2030-vanuatu. (Accessed 12 Sept. 2023) P. 1.
[vi] ibid P. 1
[vii] ibid. P. 3, 8
[viii] Ministry of Education and Training. Reviewed Gender Equity in Education Policy (GEEP) (2018). https://moet.gov.vu/docs/policies/Reviewed%20Gender%20Equity%20in%20Education%20Policy_2018.pdf (Accessed 12 Sept. 2023)