8 Jun 2006

New Zealand boost education aid to Vanuatu

3:50 pm on 8 June 2006

Education is the central theme of a huge new New Zealand aid package for Vanuatu being launched today.

In a new five-year strategy New Zealand is contributing 85 million New Zealand dollars - much of which will go towards backing the Vanuatu government's attempts to have all children reach a minimum education level of Grade Eight.

New Zealand has provided educational assistance to Vanuatu going back 16 years and the Vanuatu education minister, Joe Natuman, says his country will be asking New Zealand to continue to help with teacher training especially for principals, along with curriculum development.

"As you know in Vanuatu we have two main languages of education, English and French, so its important to try and unify the curriculum. We are working together with New Zealand to develop curricula for primary as well as secondary schools and also New Zealand is also providing a lot of books for school libraries."

Glenys Karran from the New Zealand development agency, NZAID, says what they are hoping Vanuatu will agree to is a sector wide approach in which all donors along with the Vanuatu government pool their resources.