17 Sep 2009

Vanuatu publisher defends education debate coverage

1:45 pm on 17 September 2009

The publisher of the Daily Post in Vanuatu says his paper didn't mislead the public in debating proposed curriculum changes.

Marc Neil-Jones says the paper raised concern by educationalists that French is to be given far more prominence than English as part of a policy espoused by the mainly francophone UMP Party.

Mr Neil Jones says his paper fulfilled its role of adding to the public debate.

He says he discussed the matter with the relevant minister, but didn't apologise for what was published.

"The article is not misleading. Yes, the UMP Party is concerned that we have targeted this side, and we believe we are justified in doing so, but they are saying: no, this is part of an ongoing process that started in 2006 and they are just implementing it."

Marc Neil-Jones says one proposal is to teach English for 45 minutes a week while teaching French for nine hours.