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11.0 Policy directions for the future –Way Forward


  1. More resources should be allocated to the education system to cater for the school age population which is growing at 4.5% per year. Need for better management of the in-take into secondary schools to fully utilise existing schools with the current low student-teacher ratio.
  2. Increase female participation in secondary schools and post-secondary institutions. Government, women, church groups, chiefs and NGOs must collaborate to find solutions to the gender problem.
  3. Co-ordinate efforts to increase the literacy rate through formal and non-formal mechanisms. Encourage and support Non-formal education to provide this service.

2 Financing of Education

  1. Merging smaller schools into community schools to reduce costs. Concentrating resources rather than spreading is more likely to improve the quality of education.
  2. Review the free education policy. Develop a school fee structure. Awareness that it is government policy that school maintenance is the responsibility of the community.
  3. Encourage the development of privately or community financed schools and develop a policy on cost sharing arrangements with existing non-government education providers such as the churches.
  4. Commitment by Government to fund 8 years of education for all by the year 2010 as proposed by the Education MasterPlan.


a) Develop and adopt a clear language policy.


  1. Improve and strengthen the co-ordination for the training and retraining of both primary and secondary school teachers and with appropriate subjects as required by the changing socio-economic needs of the country.
  2. The development and implementation of clear and equitable mechanisms in distributing school resources.

5.Relevance of Education and training

  1. Need to review the current programs taught at school to ensure that what is learnt at school is of practical value for the vast majority, but is also sufficiently academically demanding for those destined for tertiary education.
  2. Review and develop a Human Resources Development Plan for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.


  1. Finalize the Education Master Plan plus the Youth and Sports policy and start planning the implementation of the recommendations as set out in a summary of annexes 3 and 4. The Master Plan is the key document which provides the Government on how to the education system might develop for the next 10 – 15 years.
  2. Staffed the Division of policy and Planning of the Department of Education with the right people to plan for the future development of education, youth and sports.
  3. A comprehensive Education Act needs to be put in place quickly to guide the implementation of the Master Plan.


With assistance from the World Bank, the Government of Vanuatu is in the final stages of finalizing an Education Master Plan. This Masterplan investigates all aspects of Vanuatu's education system, and make recommendations as to how it might be developed over the next 10 to 15 years.

The Masterplan when hopes established to create an education system with the following goals:

The recommendations made are set out in the remainder of this summary.

Language Policy

That English and French should continue to be used as languages of instruction.

That the use of vernacular languages as languages of instruction should be introduced.


That all children should be offered a Basic Education to comprise a preparatory year followed by Years 1 through 8.

That a new kind of school to be known as a Community School should be established and that this should comprise a Preparatory Year and Years 1-2.

That in the Community Schools the language of instruction should be the local vernacular. That in order to make this possible a written form of the vernacular where it does not already exist should be established and the presently existing teaching materials translated into it.

That the teachers in these schools should be locally recruited Year 10 graduates, speaking the vernacular, offered short term pedagogic training, and paid at a lower rate than teachers trained by the Teachers College.

That the classrooms which will become available as a result of the creation of the new Community Schools should be used to provide space for the new Year 7 and Year 8 classes.

That students who complete their Basic Education at Year 8 should continue their education with a vocational focus through an expanded system of Rural Development Training Centres.

That junior secondary schools which currently offer education in Years 7 through 10 should be converted to high schools offering education for Years 9 through 12.

That the role of INTV in the education system be strengthened, and that it be recognised as the leading institution of the country for all forms of technical education.

That Malapoa and Matevulu Colleges be recognised as the primary centres for English language pre-university preparation.

That the Lycee Louis Antoine de Bougainville be recognised as the primary centre for French language pre-university preparation.

That opportunities for Distance Education be improved, and that experiments be made as to how this may best be delivered.

That a second language not be taught in Years 7 and 8, and that the teaching of French or English be introduced as a second language only in Year 9.

That Technology be introduced as a major subject in the high schools Years 9 through 12.


That the Physical Facilities of the Teachers College with the exception of the buildings constructed in 1997 the 1998 be completely renovated.

That training programmes be provided for teachers required to teach in Years 7 and 8 previously teaching in years 1 through 6, and for teachers required to teach in Years 9 through 12 previously teaching in Years 7 through 10.

That the presently existing system for the supervision and improvement of primary teaching provided through the Provincial Education Offices be improved and developed.

That the presently existing system for the supervision and improvement of secondary teaching located in the Ministry of Education be very substantially strengthened by the provision of additional resources and personnel.

That the salary structure for teachers be improved and administrative arrangements made so that teachers offering good service receiver regular salary increases.

That a ratings system to evaluate teachers overall performance be established, and that it be used to make decisions about promotion, discipline, and salary increases.

That a unit be established with a special responsibility for the in-service training of head teachers and principals.

That a National Curriculum Commission be established with responsibility for the selection and approval of all instructional materials.

That the Curriculum Development Centre be reorganised so that its role is essentially the management of contracts with firms in the private sector for the writing and production of textbooks and other instructional materials.

That a significant percentage of the Education Budget be diverted from the payment of teachers’ salaries to the purchase of books and other educational materials.

That training in school based assessment methodology be added to the programme of the Teachers College.

That the Year 6 examination should continue until such time as education through to Year 8 is universally available.

That a Year 8 examination should be established to regulate entry into Year 9.

That a detailed school mapping exercise be undertaken to establish precisely the needs for and desirable locations for schools at all levels.

That new community based schools be established where required.

That existing primary schools be amalgamated where necessary to create Year 3 through 8 primary schools.

That the maintenance of primary schools should become a partnership between communities and the Government.


That efforts to expand access and to improve education quality should focus on rural areas.

That the enrolment of girls in school be encouraged through a general expansion of access and by improving the overall quality of the school environment.

That linguistic equity be encouraged by the improvement of the teaching of English in the French system, and by the improvement of the teaching of French in the English system.


That the Government seek to establish partnerships for the development of education with the many important organisations operating in the private sector. In this connection the role of the churches is particularly important; there is, however, a need to revise and update existing agreements.

That the initiative to establish a National Training Council be supported.


That the Education Act of 1986 and that the proposed Education Law of 1994 be reviewed and modified where necessary. New legislation should be passed as required.

That greater administrative and financial control be decentralised to the Provincial Education Offices.

That the Education Management Information System presently operated by the Ministry be revised and strengthened.

That the current initiative to reorganise the structure and management of the Ministry to give greater prominence to the role of technical and vocational Education be supported.


That the Government accept the judgement of the Mission that it is possible to fund universal basic Education up to Year eight by 2010, but that it is not possible to do this up to Year 10.

That the Government should undertake a study of the feasibility of merging small primary schools where they are geographically in close proximity, and that the growth in number of church related schools should be discouraged.


That in developing its programme for the implementation of the Education Master Plan that the Government should consult as widely as possible with all interested and seek to establish a consensus before proceeding.



20.Vision for Vanuatu’s youth and sports development:

Young people of Vanuatu use their energy in constructive ways, using both traditional and modern technologies, in support of the nation’s development and their own financial, physical, social and other needs. The ‘potential energy’ of youth is enhanced and directed, so that the things that they do benefits youths individually and collectively while also benefiting their families, communities, and nation.

21.The Purpose (Mission) for Vanuatu’s youth & sports policy.

This policy’s purpose is to support, encourage, and assist the design and implementation of youth and sports development activities, which might benefit Vanuatu. It applies equally to national and international activities that encourage and/or support youth, cultural, and/or sports development activities, which contribute to national development objectives.

Key Policies

    1. We cannot achieve our mission just by stating it in the compact and comprehensive way we’ve just done. Our purpose can be achieved through policies in the following key areas: Organisational Development, Research and Planning, Education, Cultural Development, Counseling and Treatment, Employment development, and Physical fitness and sports. The following tables define and expand upon each of these above key areas by describing specific policies, and by suggesting activities that might implement those policies.

Key Area/Policy

Some actions for achieving this:

#1: Organisational Development

Assist and support the development of policies, organisational systems and organisational capabilities for youth and sports development at all levels.

• National youth and sports development policy, planning, program development, including resource data banks and dissemination through media and Internet.

• Networking with youth and sports development organisations, horizontally and vertically, at all levels—state/province, national, and international, including Referral system/service for clients, consultants, and outside agencies

• Advocacy for youths, and youth and sports organisations and service providers

• Training in organisational management techniques, and funding and resource development and use

Specific policies:

Increase the resources available from all sources (individuals, communities, national, and international) for youth and sports activities by 20% annually.

Ensure that youth policy is formulated in consultation with the people, youths, and their political leaders.

Develop programs and policies to implement the World Program of Action for Youth and the Asian and Pacific Agenda for Action on Social Development, and to support international exchanges of best practices.

Encourage provincial governments and NGOs—including youth organisations—to take an active role in the development of youth, culture and sports; and provide or channel support to those organisations.

Encourage, assist, and support the development of associations of organisations of young people (and of organisations which support the development of young people, such as a youth workers' association), and of a national youth congress which includes both youth organisations and youth service organisations.

Assist the setting up, development of, and activities of national bodies for youths, cultural preservation and development and sports and their linkages with self-organised bodies in the provinces and islands.

Support the involvement of youths in public decision-making bodies such as local government councils.

Support the Ministry and its partners in developing, implementing, maintaining, and evaluating programs for youth development, sports and physical fitness, and for cultural conservation and development.


Key Area/Policy

Some actions for achieving this:

#2: Research and Planning

Provide technical assistance, coordination, and encouragement for the identification and understanding of youth and sports development issues.

• Data gathering, assessment, and/or evaluation.

• Database (census and other statistics, including state and national surveys) which includes a library of project reports and evaluations, livelihood and self-employment technologies, counseling, treatment, training, etc.

• Pilot youth development projects (such as in marine resource exploitation)

• Links with other research and training institutions (national and international)

• Planning processes, national and state, including program/project planning, including identification of resource and funding opportunities

• Registration of youth and sports groups

Specific Policies

Conduct such research as needed to support the development of a broadly understood and agreed with long-term national youth and sports policies before the end of the year 2000.

Develop measurable, time-bound goals and indicators for the nation’s youth policy so as to allow a common basis for national evaluation of its implementation.

Evaluate the impact of development activities and policies on the nation’s youth, with special regard for impacts on equity between genders and equity in access to employment, education, credit, land, and information

Investigate ways for improving parents’ abilities to support their children’s transition to adulthood.

Extend youth policy through ‘corporate plans’ and annual ‘output budgets’ for the NYC, NSC, VASANOC, the Cultural Centre, and the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports.

Support the development of policies and plans for health, culture, and other related sectors.


Key Area/Policy

Some actions for achieving this:

#3: Education

Coordinate, assist, and encourage the use of existing & the development of new education which provides or increases youths’ knowledge, skills, and abilities, especially technical and management skills within youth & sports bodies, and those organisations which provide services for youths.

• Leadership skills, Employment skills (including vocational, livelihood, trade) training

• Youth and teen health and physical education needs

• Increasing levels of training in sports (to maintain or improve capabilities)

• Substance abuse avoidance and/or recovery

• Parenting and community development

• Coaching and sports network building training

• Communications and information exchange

• Project design and writing (including grant writing)

• Media use and access

Specific Policies

Promote education in all its aspects, both formal and non-formal, as well as functional literacy and training for young men and women, and lifelong learning, for youths to become constructive members of their society through the formal labour market or otherwise.

Enhance the support provided by the nation’s education policy and systems for youth and sports development, youth employment, and youths’ cultural abilities.

Encourage, finance, and advise on the delivery of education and training that helps young people develop their skills, knowledge, and physical capabilities.

Support formal skills development through vocational and technical education and training in balance with the number of employment opportunities which might use such skills.

Provide for the rehabilitation, and when appropriate, the re-integration of youths from juvenile detention and jail into society, especially in an educational setting.

Members of VRDTCA will be assisted in their development efforts, including the monitoring, evaluation, standardisation, and upgrading of their programs.

Develop and implement a non-formal education policy by the end of the year 2000.

Review formal primary and secondary curricula to maximise their relevance to self-employment and entrepreneurship, while maintaining links to formal tertiary education.


Key Area/Policy

Some actions for achieving this:

#4: Cultural Development

Support and encourage the development of youths’ cultural skills, knowledge, and awareness, and their contributions to traditional decision-making processes.

• Use appropriate & interested organisations (GO and/or NGO)

• Awareness raising (through, e.g., Province to Province exchanges)

• Materials and information on Vanuatu’s cultural aspects for visitors, investors

• National competitions and demonstrations of youth cultural arts and abilities

• Bi-ligualism (use of Mother tongue as well as Bislama, English and/or French)

• Income generation using traditional skills and arts

• Development of traditional sports

Specific Policies

Promote and support the transfer of knowledge about Vanuatu’s cultures to young ni-Vanuatu and others who are interested in the culture and/or specific arts or practices within the culture.

Identify, protect, maintain, and/or preserve significant cultural practices and sites; encourage youth groups to undertake supporting activities.

Integrate and cultivate indigenous cultures and arts into youth programs by supporting special projects that develop traditional skills and sporting capabilities of youths; such as special olympics and environment education/improvement.

Merge the Ministerial portfolio for culture with the portfolios for youth and sports.

Support and encourage co-ordination amongst and between cultural organisations, whether public or private, and their individual and collective development as well as for the exchange of information between those cultural service providers (CSPs). CSPs include, for examples, traditional artists groups, NGOs involved in traditional education or arts or in museum or archive activities.

The Department will support and encourage the development of youths’ cultural skills, knowledge, and awareness, and their contributions to traditional decision-making processes; they will do this by developing methods for youth participation in traditional decision-making forums, such as village councils, and assisting their implementation.


Key Area/Policy

Some actions for achieving this:

#5: Counseling and Treatment

Liaise with and advise organisations which provide counseling and treatment services so as to improve the provision of such services to youths and persons playing sports.

• Youth and sports health treatment services

• Professional counselor development, including certification for counselors

• Juvenile justice laws and practices initiated, improved

• Family counseling

• Remand and pre-release training for prisoners

• Substance abuse rehabilitation/avoidance

• Sports counseling and trainer development

• STD/HIV, pregnancy, sexual health counseling

• Marriage and family planning counseling: life education

Specific Policies

The Department of Youth, Sports, and Cultural Affairs will liaise with and advise organisations which provide counseling and treatment services for youths with problems so as to develop and implement plans to improve the provision of such services to youths.

Strengthen youth groups’ capacity to identify issues and concerns that require priority attention and to provide options for resolving them.

Support and encourage counseling, which eliminates domestic violence and spousal abuse.

Raise the awareness of youths about the dangers of substance abuse, both legal substances (such as kava and alcohol) and illegal substances (such as meths and drugs).

Assist, encourage operation of community-level service providers--groups, churches, clinics, etc.--to include youth-centered counseling and treatment.

Involve parents and/or other family members in counseling whenever possible, even if indirectly.


Key Area/Policy

Some actions for achieving this:

#6: Employment development

Liaise with and advise individuals and organisations which can help youths secure livelihoods, and we will help improve the provision of such services.

• Career counseling--searching for, choosing, and applying for opportunities

• Elite sports programs to assist youths who might earn a livelihood from sports

• Youth employment counseling and training centres base at rural training centres or separate urban centres

• Partnerships with employers from both the cash economy and the mixed cash-subsistence economy to train youths in employable skills

• Project and business management training

• Cooperation with ni-vanuatu business development centre

• Project development matching grants

• National training council

Specific Policies

Encourage and assist for-profit investors, NGOs and others to invest in enterprise development in provincial towns in urban settlements, giving priority to activities which also benefit rural residents..

Encourage and assist NGOs and others to invest in activities which support the development of entrepreneurship or new businesses in those areas, such as credit provision, technical assistance, advisory services, etc.

Develop policies and plans for the National Training Council to support both formal and non-formal education, and to provide a registry for courses (showing teachers, curricula, students) taken outside of primary, secondary or tertiary institutions.

Monitor and protect against illegal forms of child labour.

Provide incentives for the private sector (domestic and foreign) to generate higher levels of employment.

Identify production areas that maximise potential for job creation, whether by expansion or by new activities, in the formal economy or in the mixed economy.

Support the provision of marketing and training opportunities in micro and small-scale enterprises, especially those which add value to existing sectors such as agriculture and fisheries.


Key Area/Policy

Some actions for achieving this:

#7: Physical fitness and sports

Liaise with and advise individuals and organisations which can help youths secure livelihoods, and we will help improve the provision of such services.

• Physical fitness programs to teach youths and adults of the need for and ways of keeping their bodies healthy and fit

• Sports development matching grants

• Compulsory physical fitness programs in secondary schools

• Intra- and Inter-school sporting events

• District and national sporting events

• Participation in international sporting competitions

Specific policies

Support Vanuatu’s effective participation in international and regional sporting competitions.

Sporting bodies select good and top athletes on a regular basis during a (roughly) two year cycle.

Support the improvement, operation, and maintenance of sporting facilities so that all levels have access to the full variety of sporting facilities.

Develop and implement more effective and sustainable mechanisms for the management and maintenance of sporting facilities.

Support the improvement of sports training and skill development programs which strengthen the sporting and physical fitness capabilities of Vanuatu’s people at all levels.

Develop a school-based physical education program that helps youths understand the importance of physical exercise, mental fitness, rest, and diet; that helps youths develop their physical coordination and motor skills; that teaches youths to work together to achieve objectives in team sports; and that helps youths understand different physical activities (including sports) for their recreational and physical fitness values.


23. Conduct an Urban Youth Survey in 1999-2000. Conduct a Rural Youth Survey in 2001-2.

24. Formalise-strengthen the national networks of youth groups and youth service providers. This will involve the development and convening of regular fora for discussing programs, plans, and resource allocation-sharing. A key early element in this is the development of the National Youth Council’s internal policies—its Corporate Plan.

25. Continue to develop awareness-raising/educational activities. Theatre is a form of self expression acceptable for and by young people. This interest should be encouraged and such groups used by government departments to do outreach work.

27. The Mission of the Ministry of Education needs to be developed to encompass all educational forms, academic and non-academic, formal and non-formal, etc.

28. Vanuatu needs a (comprehensive) National Youth Policy to persuade political and custom leadership to recognise and respond to the problems of youth. This policy focus on the correlation between youths’ (and their parents’) expectations, education and training capacities, and the markets and related job capacities within Vanuatu.

29. In order to re-focus on youth development, we need to move from ‘academic’ and ‘sports’ achievements to look at and address all of the issues of youth development. To accomplish this move, the office currently handling youth development should be re-organised, and re-named to the Department of Youth, Sports, & Cultural Affairs.

30. The National Training Council is new and in a position to be extremely helpful for the development of the nation’s youth. One of the ways it can help these sectors to develop (and help youth development) be to serve as registrar, recorder, and (eventually) accreditor of all non-formal, vocational, technical, and other forms of continuing education. For the foreseeable future, this function could be done on by training providers a voluntary basis; later on, accreditation might be required of training providers in order to receive assistance.

31. Vanuatu Rural Development & Training Centres Association (VRDTCA) has a role that allies closely with the NTC, but focuses primarily on the needs of rural communities and their youths rather than on formal sector employment. Government should support VRDTCA in ways that do not undercut VRDTCA’s autonomy; and it should encourage and support VRDTCA initiatives which accord with governments’ priorities.

32. The Vanuatu National Council of Women’s mandate as an apex, policy-advising and extension-supporting, organisation for Vanuatu’s women puts it in a position to advise and support the development of young women.

33. At present, there is no mechanism for bringing together the plans and needs and expectations of youth organisations (represented by the NYC) and those organisations (public and private) which provide services to youths. Vanuatu could adopt a model developed in the Federated States of Micronesia, where these two kinds of organisations come together in state and national youth ‘congresses’ on an yearly or three-yearly basis.

34. The development of school-based physical education—such that it would be an ‘examinable’ subject—could be a primary target for government’s support of sports development. This kind of activity must, of course, focus on the provision of physical education for health and fitness, rather than on sports development, as most youths will not end up in top-line sports, but they yet need to know how to keep their bodies fit and to use sports and physical exercise for entertainment.


35. All legislation related to education, youth, sports, cultural affairs (including the Malvatumauri), and employment, should provide for public participation in the design of implementing regulations and policies.

36. A participatory program to identify, collect, and analyse more up-to-date and detailed information on the current situations of youth in the country—their problems, resources, etc.—followed by the development of a full, long-term policy framework for youth, sports, and cultural affairs development, should be completed by the end of the year 2000.


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