Mr Marles in Vanuatu
07 April, 2012
Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles (centre) with Mr Morris Kaluat, Principal of the Pango Primary School (left) and librarian Dolly Kalran (right). Photo: DFAT, Vanuatu
Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, recently visited schools in Port Vila to see how Australia’s work with the Vanuatu Government and other donors is making a difference to primary school children.
Australia has allocated $6 million this year to helping Vanuatu improve access to education and levels of literacy and numeracy for the country’s 43 000 primary school students.
Already 3 000 more children are in school than in 2009 because of aid from Australia and other donors. Unlike Australia, education is not free in Vanuatu and fees are often beyond the reach of parents who earn little or no cash income.
Donors are working with the Government of Vanuatu to relieve families of this burden by giving grants to schools to replace fees. This means that parents can now afford to send their children to school.
During his visit Mr Marles also met the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and senior business, economic and community leaders.
'Vanuatu is a key partner country for Australia,' said Mr Marles. 'I met a range of leading Vanuatu economic figures and business people to hear firsthand how the economy is performing and its prospects for the year ahead.'
Last Reviewed: 30 March, 2012