Over Vt360M Subsidy For 58 Schools

Compiled by Anita Roberts

A total of Vt368, 609, 870 has been paid for 8,778 students in 58 primary and secondary schools as part of the tuition fee subsidy from the Government’s Economic Stimulus Package.

Out of the total figure, Vt102, 373, 800 was received by 18 primary schools and will benefit 2, 454 students.

Vt264, 850, 070 was received by 40 secondary schools for 6, 324 students.

The government, through the Council of Ministers (COM) has approved that each student will receive a tuition fee exemption of Vt42,000 for the 2020 academic year.

Parents throughout Vanuatu are struggling to keep paying tuition fee in this current COVID-19 situation.

Cyclone Harold wiped out crops as it tore through the northern islands, eliminating important sources of income. On the island of Tanna, crops were also affected by volcano ash fall.

The tuition fee subsidy was announced by the government as part of the Vt4 billion stimulus package to support parents in this difficult time.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), the stimulus package is only paid to registered schools and it covers non-government primary schools, non-government junior secondary schools offering Years 7 to 10 and government, non-government assisted and non-government secondary schools offering Years 11 to 13/14.

Apart from the tuition fee subsidy, the government is also assisting schools with grants which are paid on two installments annually, 60% at the beginning of the year and 40%towards the middle of the year.

The total grant paid so far this is Vt1, 139, 144, 036.

A total of 87, 593 students benefited from this Vt1, 139, 144, 036.

Of the total figure, Vt880, 865, 253 has been paid to 139 secondary schools, Vt479, 662, 220 paid to 419 primary schools and Vt135, 863, 263 to early childhood centers.

An amount of Vt357, 246, 700 is yet to be paid, according to the MoET.

To qualify for the school grant and tuition fee subsidy, schools must meet certain requirements.

They must provide their previous year’s annual financial reports, have a school improvement plan, must not have audit and enrollment issues, must have an active school council and must offer Vanuatu’s national curriculum.

Schools that do not comply with the MoET’s requirements on grants will be penalized.