20 Sep 2012

Vanuatu political parties accused of lying in claims of free education

1:41 pm on 20 September 2012

A Vanuatu MP says political parties are lying when they promise free education.

President of the Land and Justice Party and candidate for Port Vila in next month's election, Ralph Regenvanu, says the Ministry of Education admitted at a media forum last week that there was no such thing as free education.

He says the Government provides a subsidy of one hundred US dollars for each child's school fees, but many schools charge more and there are many additional costs for materials and contributions to school building extensions.

He says a large portion of the Government's budget goes towards education and there are significant amounts received through aid from Australia and New Zealand, but it is spent disproportionately on the political wing of the ministry for travel allowances and other overheads.

He blames political parties for giving the public the impression education is free.

"It is definitely a ploy that the political parties are using to get votes in this election, to talk about free education, but as we found out in the forum it is basically lying to people. It is totally unrealistic and misrepresenting what can actually be done."

Vanuatu MP Ralph Regenvanu.