Grant to help Vanuatu primary schools respond to impacts of Covid-19 and TC Harold

Primary schools have received an additional one-off grant to help meet urgent needs and boost local communities responding to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and Tropical Cyclone Harold in Vanuatu.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) confirmed that the grant has been deposited in the bank accounts for all Government registered and non-government assisted primary schools.

The grant will assist a total of 407 primary schools and 53,519 students.

Funds disbursed will help schools meet their priority needs, as outlined in their School Improvement Plan, or to conduct other activities that will benefit the community, in consultation with school councils and school community associations.

The grant could be used to develop community gardens, provide nutritious meals for students, work on maintenance or minor repairs of buildings or upgrade wash facilities with the support of the Ministry Facilities Unit.

Schools have been urged to make use of local resources when using the grants, to ensure local communities get an economic boost from the funds.

The ministry was supported with a one-off grant with 309.3 million vatu from the Australian Government through the new Vanuatu Australia School Community Grant topped up by an additional 21.0 million vatu from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The Minister of Education and Training, Simeon Seoule, has encouraged schools to use the grant for their most pressing needs.

'In Santo and other affected islands, the grant could be used to purchase and replace temporary roofing, like tarpaulins, with safe and sustainable materials."

Category 5 TC Harold hit Vanuatu in April 2020 causing major devastation especially in the northern islands.. 

Education cluster assessments reported that about 885 schools in the north were damaged or destroyed and about 40,000 children were out of school.

"The Ministry of Education and Training's school grant system is an efficient way to reach schools and communities all across Vanuatu. Australia is pleased to work with the Government of Vanuatu to provide an economic boost to communities in this challenging time. We look forward to seeing the range of uses to which this grant will be put, based on the needs in each school community" said the Australian High Commissioner, Sarah deZoeten.

Photo supplied Caption: Signing of the school grant between MoET and Australian High Commissioner Sarah deZoeten