22 Jan 2018

Vanuatu free education under scrutiny

3:08 pm on 22 January 2018

The Vanuatu government's free education policy is coming under increased scrutiny, with parents in the country facing a raft of extra fees this years.


Photo: 123RF

The Daily Post reported the policy, where the government had abolished tuition fees for years 7 and 8, had led to increased enrolments and fewer students dropping out of school.

But some schools were complaining that the government payments were not enough, and some schools - particularly in urban areas - said they were too full.

The newspaper said some principals had introduced other fees to get enough funding to cover the shortfall, which has led to complaints from parents.

The education minister, Jean Pierre Nirua, says it's illegal for public schools to charge extra fees, and any increase to fees must be approved by the minister.

He says the policy's purpose is to make education as accessible and affordable as possible.