Education in Vanuatu

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Education has proven to be vital for the success of many people.  For a better future, education is a must.  But, for the many families in the remote islands of Vanuatu, education is a luxury they can’t well afford.  Many young people discontinue their schooling without learning a useful skill.

The literacy rate of the entire population is quite low at 64%.  But, it is good to know that most literate people in Vanuatu are under the age of 35 years old.  Primary education is available in Vanuatu except for some remote tribal areas.  Children have access to education which is provided either in English or French. Attendance and enrolment in school in Vanuatu are the lowest in the Pacific.  This is largely because school is not compulsory.  The enrolment rate in the primary school was 74.5% in 1989 and then rose to 78.2% in 1999.  The enrolment rate further rose to 93% in 2004, but, it dropped again to just 85.4% in 2007.  The number of pupils completing their primary education continues to decline.  It was at 90% in 1991 and only 72% in 2004.

In their rural training centers, most of the classrooms are built with bush materials and are frequently destroyed by cyclones.  New classrooms that can withstand cyclone devastation have been built with aid provided by NZAID and supporters from Oxfam.  A recently built training centre is the Lorakau centre.  It was constructed with the help of the locals of the Lorakau community.  It will also serve as an emergency center for major cyclones and dangerous volcanic activities.  This training facility will provide vocational training in agriculture, carpentry, home skills and mechanics.  The University of the South Pacific is in Port Vila and in 3 other centers.  The campus that is in Port Vila is more popularly known as the Emalus Campus and houses the University’s law school.

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