The State of Education in Vanuatu

  • 8000 children start school every year
  • 2000 complete their primary education
  • 500 complete Year 10 equivalent
  • 125 complete Year 12 equivalent

Just recently a literacy assessment was given to all children in Vanuatu from years 1-3. This assessment is given to children around the world in developing countries. Only 7% passed this assessment!!!! When the pass mark was lowered, only 13% passed.

The government now pays for children to go to school from Years 1-6. This started at the beginning of 2010. It is still too soon to see if participation levels have increased due to this. The guestimate is that there has been a slight increase.

Kindergarten is not funded. Huge fees and no resources.

Unfortunately though, having free education for students does not mean that they are getting good education.
There are still big problems with:

  • Having enough trained teachers (some say they think 70% of teachers in the outer islands are not trained);
  • Money from the government to pay the teachers
  • Resources for the teachers to teach from Resources and stationery for the students to use
  • Appropriate classrooms for students to be taught in


The Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education receives 2000 applications each year but there are only 120 places given. Reasons for this are that applicants are of low level, and government cannot afford to pay for any more teachers.

The teacher database has just recently been cleaned up and they are no longer paying dead teachers. They are now going through this database so they can stop paying teachers who have not been teaching for years!!!!

Vanuatu spends 26% of it’s GDP on education, but 82% of this is spent on human resources.

If girls get pregnant they are not ever allowed to go back to school. This is why the proportion of girls and boys in secondary schools is so different.

Most teachers are not teaching their students to read because they can’t read themselves.
If students don’t learn how to read, it makes it very difficult for them to learn geography, science, history etc

Big problem is that there aren't any / many libraries.

Tafea Province always has the lowest results for any educational assessment.

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