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PART 1 DESCRIPTIVE SECTION

Brief description of review process and methodology used

The present report is a collective work done by National Technical Committee for EFA Assessment set up and appointed by the Director General of Education, Youth and Sports. The membership of this committee consists of senior officers from the Division of Policy and Planning Services comprising:

Director of Policy and Planning Services

Senior Education Officer, Planning

Research Officer

Education Officer, Statistics

Education Officer, school-Mapping

Due to the urgency of compiling and producing this EFA report, other key players who are actively involved in developing, managing and providing Basic Education such as Division of Vocational, Youth and Sports, Division of School Education Programmes and others such as Vanuatu Association for Rural Development and Training Centres Association, Departments of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Media Organisations, Department Cultural Affairs, and other NGO institutions were not included in the committee.

Interviews were carried out but most information supplied to compile the EFA report was through existing written reports.

Under the supervision of the National Co-ordinator, the assessment process has gone through the allocation of task by field of interest and by technical capabilities first for documentation and data gathering, then for document analysis and/or data processing, finally for synthesis of the reports. Also this report has benefit from the skills of senior officers from the Division of Policy and Planning Services I design data/information collection materials, to undertake specific sample surveys that help to extend coverage onto the areas where there were no relevant information or tangible instruments for an appropriate evaluation.

Acknowledgement also goes to Ms Celia Barelle and Ms Ada Panett, the UNESCO mobile team who assisted with getting the work started and to members of the Pacific RTAG who provided advice during the two EFA workshops in putting this document together.

INTRODUCTION

a) The Size of Vanuatu’s Geographical/land Area

The Republic of Vanuatu consists of a "Y" shaped archipelago of 83 Islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. The chain stretches over a distance of approximately 850 kilometres in a north-south direction. The islands lie between 13 and 22 degrees south of the equator. The total land area is only 12,189 km while the economic ocean area is extensive, over 680,000 km including the exclusive economic zone. Most of the Islands are primarily volcanic in origin with high mountains that typify this type of formation. The smaller Islands are mainly of coral or limestone origin.

b) The size of Vanuatu’s Population

The Vanuatu 1989 census revealed a total population of 142,944 of which 139,475 are indigenous Ni-Vanuatu. This includes 71,748 males and 67,727 females. The population distribution is very uneven for Vanuatu as it ranges from Efates overall population of 30,868 to Paama’s 1,696 people (see table 1). The population has been projected to approximately 165,000 for the year 1995.

POPULATION BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGION, 1979 AND 1989

 

TOTAL POPULATION

 

REGION

1979

1989

% GROWTH PER ANNUM 1979 - 1989

BANKS/TORRES

4,958

5,985

1.8

SANTO/MALO

19,423

25,581

2.7

AMBAE/MAEWO

9,576

10,958

1.3

PENTECOST

9,361

11,341

1.9

MALEKULA

15,163

19,298

2.3

AMBRYM

6,175

7,191

1.5

PAAMA

2,228

1,696

-2.6

EPI

2,597

3,975

3.2

SHEPHERDS

4,444

3,975

-1.1

EFATE

19,819

30,868

4.3

TAFEA

17,506

22,423

2.4

VANUATU

111,251

142,944

2.4

Table 1.1 Source: Adapted from Vanuatu National population Main Report (1989)

There have been some major demographic trends that have occurred in Vanuatu’s population during the 1980’s, which are as follows:

  1. overall population growth of 2.4% per year, a slight reduction from 3.1 percent during the 1867 - 79 period; and
  2. ni-Vanuatu population growth is 2.8% per year, a reduction from 3.4% for the 1967 - 1979 period.

Despite this considerable drop in overall population growth, Ni-Vanuatu population growth is still high by international standards and in the Pacific is surpassed only by the Marshall Island (4.2%), the Solomon Islands (3.5%), and the Federated States of Micronesia (3.4%).

Another significant feature with planning implications refers to the fact that Ni-Vanuatu population growth over the last ten years in the urban areas has been more than three times higher than rural growth as follows:

  1. urban Ni-Vanuatu population is now 7.5 percent per year compared to a previous 7.9 percent during the 1967 - 79; and
  2. rural Ni-Vanuatu population growth is now 2.1 percent per year compared to 3.0 percent in the 1967 - 79 period.

These high urban growth rates also accounted for the fact that Efate and Santo Islands where the two important towns are located have the highest growth rates of all Local Government regions. The decline in the population of Paama Island and Shepherds Local Government region in real terms during the 1980s identifies these regions as high out-migration areas.

The demographic impact of external migration in Vanuatu is negligible, unlike other Pacific Island countries such as Tonga, Cook Islands and Western Samoa, and to a lesser extend Fiji. Vanuatu has no established external migration networks that would permit continued permanent or semi-permanent out-migration. Apart from some 4,000 Ni-Vanuatu living in neighbouring New Caledonia, the majority of Ni-Vanuatu living outside the country is students obtaining secondary and tertiary education or Ni-Vanuatu crew on container ships and fishing boats.

C. The Macroeconomy. Vanuatu’s economy is highly dualistic, with about 80% of the economically active population engaged in agriculture and a modern services sector dominated by government and tourism. The vast majority of the rural population is engaged in subsistence agriculture (e.g., taro, yams, and fish), perhaps with some small cash-cropping (vegetables, kava); only 4% of agricultural employment is in the modern plantation sector. Most of the economy’s small modern sector is located in the two urban areas of Port Vila and Luganville.

The progress of the Vanuatu economy in recent years has been very uneven. Over the period since 1983, rates of economic growth have averaged around 3%, with considerable fluctuations from year to year; growth was somewhat higher in the 1980s, averaging 3.2%, than it has been in the 1990s, averaging around 2.9%. The most successful years were 1991-93, with growth averaging around 4.5%, but these gave way to the prolonged civil servants’ strike in 1993, the effects of which are still being felt.

Rates of economic growth have barely exceeded the country’s relatively high rate of population growth, so that overall average living standards for the ni-Vanuatu people have not risen over this period. Within this overall average, however, there are wide divergences for different groups in the population.

The Supplement to the 1998 Budget stated that for the latest year, 1997, the economy recorded only moderate growth in GDP, 3.5%, although in fact this was above the average recorded over previous years. Agricultural export performance was good and exports of copra, beef and timber all rose steeply. Tourism showed good growth during the year. Average consumer prices rose 2.8% over those for the previous year; the external trade balance improved, due to the strong performance of agricultural exports and to slow growth in imports.

The Government predicted economic growth in real terms of 1% for 1998, 3% for 1999 and 4% per year for 2000 and thereafter. The latter have to be seen as ambitious forecasts but they are not impossible: the 1998 Budget pointed to a number of positive factors that could work in favor of the Vanuatu economy. The Government placed high hopes on a resumption of growth in tourism after the downturn during the first quarter of 1998: tourism is already the largest foreign exchange earner. Additionally, the industrial sector benefited from the construction of the new power station in Port Vila and there should be a better climate for increased foreign investment. The trade and current account balances were expected to worsen during 1998 and 1999 but to improve in 2000.

The Structure of the Economy.

Table 1 gives the breakdown of Gross Domestic Product by kind of economic activity in constant prices over the Years 1983-97. Table 1 shows the preponderance of the Services sector in Vanuatu’s national economy, with 63% of total GDP in 1997; within Services, much the largest component is related to Wholesale and Retail Trade, with 30%. Even though Agriculture dominates the lives of the great majority of the population, these official figures show that it comprises only 24% of the economy, of which subsistence agriculture comprises 9%; however, it is widely believed that these figures are significant underestimates of the agriculture sector. The Industrial Sector is relatively small, totaling only 13%, of which Manufacturing equals just 6%.

Table 1: Gross Domestic Product by kind of Economic

Activity, 1983-97

 

 

 

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

1983

Vt.m.

%

1997 constant (1983) prices Vt.m.

%

1983-97

% growth, constant prices

25.7

 

23.8

39.7

 

2,590

 

3,618

   
Copra  

6.4

792

5.2

22.8

 

645

       
Cattle  

2.3

621

4.1

167.7

 

232

       
Cocoa  

0.9

123

0.8

36.7

 

90

       
Coffee

5

0

2

0.0

-60.0

Other commercial agriculture  

5.9

130

0.9

-78.3

 

598

       
Subsistence agriculture  

9.7

 

9.3

44.6

 

975

 

1,410

   
Forestry & logging  

0.5

540

3.6

 
 

45

     

1,100.0

Industry  

7.6

 

13.0

155.3

 

772

 

1.971

   
Manufacturing  

3.1

943

6.2

203.2

 

311

       
Electricity  

1.6

235

1.5

48.7

 

158

       
Construction  

3

794

5.2

162.0

 

303

       
Services  

66.7

 

63.2

42.7

 

6,729

 

9,601

   
Wholesale & retail trade  

30.5

 

30.0

47.7

 

3,082

 

4,553

   
Hotels & restaurants

5.4

650

4.3

19.5

 

544

       
   

7.5

995

6.6

31.4

Transport, storage, communication

757

       
Finance & Insurance  

8.1

 

6.8

25.9

Real estate & other services  

5.9

886

5.8

47.9

 

599

       
Government services  

13.8

 

11.8

28.2

 

1,393

 

1,786

   
Less: imputed banking charges  

4.6

300

0.7

-35.5

 

465

       
Gross Domestic Product  

100

 

100.0

50.5

 

10,091

 

15,189

   
Annual growth, %    

3

   

Source: Statistics Office and Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Quarterly Economic Review

The table also shows relatively clear trends over this period (although these have been uneven from year to year), with overall economic growth of 50.5% in real terms. The large Services sector grew significantly, by 42.7 %, although rather less than the economy as a whole. The small Industry sector grew relatively much more rapidly, by 155.3% over this period, with the manufacturing sector more than trebling in size and construction more than doubling: these may be significant indicators for future development. To repeat, however, all such figures must be treated with considerable caution.

Agriculture grew by only 39.7% over these years, i.e. more slowly than the economy as a whole; however, cattle output more then doubled, while, from these official figures, output from the fledgling forestry and logging sector apparently multiplied by more then ten, to record much the largest percentage growth shown in the table, 1,100%. In the words of a recent report, however,

"the figures for forestry and other commercial agriculture are not credible; there has not been an increase in the forestry sector of the magnitude displayed, nor has there been a reduction in commercial agriculture". (Source: Asian Development Bank, 1997.)

Overall, Table 1 shows a movement over time away from dependence on agriculture, forestry and fishing, but at rather a slow rate, so that it will take some years for the effects of this trend (if continued) to be felt to a significant degree.

"Given that 80% of the population live in the rural areas in the mixed cash/ subsistence sector and in a traditional environment with strong communal and cultural obligations, economic change is unlikely to be rapid. The general level of education is low, skills are in short supply, and entrepreneurship is underdeveloped in a society where modern business practices are alien. Change in business structure reflecting the incorporation of modern technology will be slow." (Source: Asian Development Bank, 1997.)

Annex 4 gives the composition of GDP, year by year, since 1983. The figures at the foot of this table show that GDP per head in constant prices has moved rather little over this period, with the figure for 1998 being shown as just less than that for 1985.

1.0 EFA GOALS AND TARGETS

Vanuatu’s educational policies, goals and targets are decided by the Central Government through the ‘Five Year National Development Plans’. The formulation of educational development plans are carried out within the framework of overall development objectives and plans in such a way that education should contribute to the achievement of the development objectives. The objectives of Vanuatu ‘s 5 year development plan (1982 - 1986) and (1987 - 1991) which relates to education is and are as follows:

  1. to realize the nations human resource potential (1982 - 1986)
  2. to accelerate human resource development for increased Ni-Vanuatu participation in, and control of, the economy; (1987 - 1991)

The 3rd National Development Plan (1992 - 1996) structured Vanuatu ‘s development activities into three major themes:

1. development that contributes to economic self-reliance;

2. development that improves the quality of rural life;

3. development that leads to a greater balance between regions.

It is the Governments objectives to ensure that the three themes formed the foundation to prioritise development activities in the 1992 - 1996 plan period.

From Independence in 1980 to 1992, the political party in power (Vanuatu Party) has been preaching three philosophies as the purpose of education in Vanuatu and one of them is as follows:

  1. Education "ensures progressive development in all spheres - psychological, physical and spiritual. It enables an individual to achieve healthy growth and development within his given environment. Education makes him function well in day to day life" (Intro to Education Section, Van Pati 1987: P15).

The Government then, aware of the above has included in its policies and beliefs, objectives and aims that strive towards a sound education system that is relevant to the needs of Vanuatu and which would provide the highest standards for the Ni- Vanuatu population. The three Development Plans do incorporate these aims:

    1. to work towards national unity
    2. to raise the overall quality of education in Vanuatu
    3. to provide increased opportunities for primary and secondary education
    4. to develop a unified system of education for Vanuatu
    5. to develop Ni- Vanuatu citizens free from the complexes and prejudices of the colonial period
    6. to instil Ni- Vanuatu values in the child as a citizen of Vanuatu and to prepare him or her for involvement in modern society.

The third national development plan (DP3) (1992 - 1996) shows a consistent continuing policy by refining the aims to reflect what the government envisaged to do. They were:

    1. a continuing commitment to all citizens to improve access to education
    2. to improve the quality of education and its relevance to the modern world.
    3. A long-term, ten year objective of high quality education for the majority of children.
    4. A short to medium-term objective to improve quality at all level of education while striving for a sustainable expansion of the system.
    5. Equality of educational opportunities for French and English speaking students a priority.

Educational Goals and Objectives of Vanuatu

1.1 Expansion of early childhood care and developmental activities

The third National Development Plan 1992 – 1996 has the following goals and aims for Pre-school education:

Objectives: Pre-school Education

Strategies:

Also on the 9 June 1992, the then Honourable Minister of Education, Mr Romain Batick approved an expanded policy paper on ‘Pre-school Education’(Annex ) which governs the operation and management of pre-school education up to now.



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