From communicating across 65 inhabited islands and 12,000 sq kms, to natural disasters including cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity, to resourcing issues, isolation, varying teacher qualifications, and a legacy of two education systems – English and French – the teaching profession in Vanuatu faces many challenges.
Enormous efforts have been underway to overcome those challenges, and earlier this year the QCT hosted three officers from the Vanuatu Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and Ministry of Education who are determined to make a difference to education in their country through teacher registration.
The TSC are working hard to establish professional and ethical standards for teachers, and are focussed on establishing a database of all teachers and their qualifications, as well as promoting good practice in the classroom.
Joe Kalotap, Marcel Yamsiu and Joseph Timatua, pictured above with QCT Director, John Ryan, shared with the QCT how teachers’ qualifications in their country have ranged from no formal teacher education in the past, to diplomas, certificates and degrees.
Joseph said it was hoped that registration, or licensing as it is called in Vanuatu, would help ensure standards were met by their country’s teachers to ensure improved learning outcomes.
“We will use the registration of the teachers to understand the qualifications and to help the teaching services employers and other stakeholders to find an alternative avenue to upgrade the skills and knowledge of our teachers,” Joseph said.
Marcel said the Ministry of Education had set a benchmark for every primary and secondary school teacher to have a bachelor degree.
Currently it is believed that about 3000 of around 5000 teachers are registered.