20150402 Getting Vanuatu schools up and running again 370x298

Getting local schools reopened and functioning again is the focus of the Coffey-managed Vanuatu Education Support Program in the wake of the mid-March Cyclone Pam.

The program team, which is funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments, is assisting the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training to conduct rapid assessments of the physical damage to schools. This information is being compiled with similar information from agencies providing relief such as the Australian and New Zealand defence forces, and then given to the ministry so they are able to prioritise reconstruction work.

General Manager International Development, Asia Pacific Sam Spurrett said the program will also replace any of the lost literacy and numeracy kits which we rolled out to more than 400 primary schools at the end of last year.

“The kits are designed to improve literacy and numeracy of Vanuatu children from kindergarten to year three,” Sam said.

“The Vanuatu Education Support Program is also helping run school visits by key ministry personnel to support head teachers and communities as they re-open schools in the worst affected areas.

“The visits will focus on providing up to date information, discussing creative solutions to get students back to school as soon as possible and helping schools re-start the learning program. This includes suggestions for running lessons with limited resources and giving advice about working with students who have experienced a traumatic event.”

The program provides targeted support to the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training, with the long-term goals of improving education quality, providing more equitable access to education and a well-managed education system.