Education in Vanuatu

Joined Commonwealth: 1980

Population: 240,000 (2009)

GDP p.c. growth: -0.2% p.a. 1990-2008

Adult literacy: 82.0% (2009)

Public spending on education was 4.8% of GDP in 2009. Primary education, in French or English, is almost universal and provided free of charge. There are seven years of compulsory education starting at age six. The primary female-male ratio is 0.95:1 and the secondary 1.09:1 (2009) with a primary pupil-teacher ratio of 24:1 (2008). Some 71% of pupils complete primary school (2008). The school year starts in February.

Vanuatu is a partner in the regional University of the South Pacific, which has its main campus in Suva, Fiji Islands, and a campus, the Emalus Campus, in Port Vila, Vanuatu, where 700-1,000 students per semester are enrolled for certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate courses, using the university’s distance-learning facilities. The university’s law school and teaching programmes in Pacific languages and early childhood education are based at the Emalus Campus. Malapoa Teachers’ Training College and Tagabe Agricultural School also provide tertiary education, and there is a school of nursing in Port Vila.

Vanuatu has an active non-formal education sector, mainly organised by community- and church-based NGOs, such as the Vanuatu Rural Development and Training Community Association, which provides vocational training in rural training centres. Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 94% (2009).