On 19 September 2018, the Minister of Education and Training, Jean Pierre Nirua, Parliamentary Secretaries, Johnny Koanapo Rasu and Tomker Netvunei, and Australia’s Chargée d’affaires, Susan Ryle officially launched ten classrooms, two offices and one library in four primary schools on Erromango including in Dillons Bay Port Melo, Ivu Alam and Port Narvin.
The four recently repaired primary schools are the recipients of the Tropical Cyclone Pam Education Recovery Program implemented by the Ministry of Education and Training Project
Management Unit. The program aims to repair and rebuild primary schools that were severely damaged by Tropical Cyclone Pam and focusses on restoring school infrastructure that supports the Government of Vanuatu’s recovery plan ‘Strengthening ni-Vanuatu Resilience – National Recovery and Economic Strengthening Program’.
The Australian Government is supporting the Vanuatu Government to build back better education infrastructure damaged by Tropical Cyclone Pam. In total, over 4,000 children and hundreds of school staff will benefit from the reconstruction and repair of around 170 primary school classrooms in Tafea province. The Australian Government has committed over 690 million vatu to repair and rebuild the affected schools on the islands of Tanna, Aneityum, Futuna, Aniwa and Erromango.
Local contractors and engineers construct most of the buildings. This helps to grow the local economy, creates jobs and develops local skills. The income also benefits the community: more money for school fees, more money for local stores and more for community organisations.
The impact of Tropical Cyclone Pam on school facilities was severe and the Vanuatu and Australian Governments recognise the importance of investing in the education sector. Education is critical for economic development and increased livelihoods.
SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION.