School and Education in Vanuatu


The school system is wrestling with the colonial heritage and has both English and French as the official language alongside the native language used in some classes. A 6-year primary school takes care of the majority of children but has some dropout towards the end. The secondary school has two stages, a 4-year old and a 3-year old who recruit a minority. There is a shortage of competent teachers for the secondary school. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu has no university of its own, but in the country there is a campus (a university part) of the University of the South Pacific. However, most of the students go to the university’s central campus in Fiji. In 2009, it was estimated that just over 80 percent of the population was literate.

Children and School

Where do the children go to school in Vanuatu?

If Vanuatu consists of many small islands, where do the children actually go to school? Does every small island have a school or does everyone have to go to school by boat? 90 out of 100 children attend at least one primary school that corresponds to our primary school. Of course, they don’t exist on every small island, but mostly on the larger ones.

Many children attend primary schools, but only a few children then go to secondary schools. There are too few teachers and too little material for teaching. At the same time, schools cost a great deal of money, which poor, if happy people, often cannot afford. But the children probably attend school for an average of ten years.

Vanuatu Country Flag

Vanuatu flag source:

And after school?

Despite the lack of secondary schools, Vanuatu even has a university, at least one branch. The university’s headquarters are in the Fiji Islands, but the law department is in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila. About 700 to 1000 students can be taught here. If you want to study law, why not go to Vanuatu?

In the following photos you can see children from Vanuatu, all of whom actually look very happy. Take a look for yourself!