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SOED ready to assist Vanuatu education

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Senior Ministry of Education officials of Vanuatu who attended the meeting with Professor Lingam (front, second from right).

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education (SOED) is prepared to assist the Ministry of Education in Vanuatu with their concerns regarding the training of Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC) teachers and preparation for teachers teaching at tertiary institutions, among others.

This, following a fruitful meeting on 18 May, 2017 between Professor Govinda Lingam, the Head of the SOED with the senior staff of the Ministry including Barbara Sese, Information Counselling Officer, Scholarships; Dr. Amton Mwaraksurmes, SOED lecturer; Mr Pierre Sewen, Head of Education Studies Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education; Mr John Arukelana, Country Coordinator, Untrained Teacher Programme; Mr Jack Takalo, Acting Principal Vanuatu Institute of Technology; Mr Jonathan George Toka, Acting Director General Youth and Sport; Mr Johnson Toa, PEO TVET Section; Mr Derrick Alexander, Chairman of Vanuatu Teaching Service; Mr Roy Obed, Director of Education Services and Mr Jessie Dick, Director General of Education.

Professor Lingam acknowledged the presence of senior staff from the Ministry stating that the purpose of the visit was to get first-hand information from the Ministry about their concerns in education and how the SOED can assist in addressing these thereby improving the quality of education delivered in schools. 

The Director General of Education, Mr Jessie expressed areas that needed attention in education namely the training of ECEC teachers, school leadership preparation, training of sports and physical education teachers and preparation for teachers teaching at tertiary institutions.

Mr Jessie noted that “currently the Ministry of Education is putting more emphasis on ECEC teachers and at present, most of them are unqualified and therefore need formal training and qualification at least at the Diploma level”.

He stressed that it is the Vanuatu Government’s policy to have teachers with adequate qualifications and that there is a need for professionally trained teachers to teach at the Technical and Vocational Centres and other tertiary institutions. Furthermore, he expressed the need to have School Heads, who are well qualified to lead and manage schools.

“Currently, School Heads do not having proper qualification to administer schools. Leadership in schools is a concern for the Ministry and policy makers,” Mr Jessie noted.

Professor Lingam assured the team that their concerns are within the scope of the SOED.

“We are ready to support Vanuatu education in all the areas highlighted and work in collaboration with the Ministry to pave a way forward for qualitative improvement of education in the country,” he said. 

Also, Professor Lingam commended the Ministry of Education for their desire to professionally prepare teachers for school leadership positions.

“School leaders play a critical role in education and we need those who can provide quality leadership to ensure excellence in education,” Professor Lingam remarked.

He added that this was a successful meeting and the School is fully committed towards fulfilling the requests by the Ministry of Education in Vanuatu.

This news item was published on 25 May 2017 04:30:35 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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