Vanuatu Government To Continue Free Early Childhood Education, Roll Out Free Secondary Education

PM is concerned that kindergartens or institutions delivering early childhood education are becoming too expensive for Ni-Vanuatu parents who cannot afford tuition

By Anita Roberts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 24, 2017) – The Government will be rolling out free early childhood and secondary education from year 7 to 10 starting next year (2018), Prime Minister (PM) Charlot Salwai has declared.

His announcement came on the eve of Children’s Day celebration today.
 
The PM is concerned that kindergartens or institutions delivering early childhood education are becoming too expensive for Ni-Vanuatu parents who cannot afford tuition.

This is why the government has decided to take another step to address and invest more in early childhood education.

This year (2017) marks the end of the Free Primary Education Policy of Vanuatu being financed by the governments of Australia and New Zealand, the head of the government revealed.

Mr Salwai commended the policy for bringing a lot of changes to Vanuatu.

The policy will roll over next year, to year 6 to 10 while the government will now step in and finance primary education on its own, he said.

Education has been free for primary level in Vanuatu since 2010.

Parents whose children attending years 1 to 6 in most public schools are not paying tuition.

Yet, there are still many children without access to public schools.

The number of children who drop out from year 6 and could not continue to senior level is another concern of the government.

Education empowers children to become active and responsible citizens, the head of the government, PM Salwai, has stressed.

Vanuatu committed itself to protect the rights of all children when it ratified the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989.

Everyone in Vanuatu have been waiting to see the government implement plans to extend free education to junior secondary cycle as the Minister of Education, Jean Pierre Nirua, announced on Children’s Day last year.

Meanwhile, today’s Children’s Day programme will see a parade starting from Fatumaru Bay at 8.30am and arriving at Saralana Park before speeches, entertainment, refreshment and other activities such as games take place before closing of the day’s event at 2.30pm.

Radio New Zealand International
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