17 Sep 2009

Vanuatu education ministry says aim of changes not to compromise English teaching

6:11 pm on 17 September 2009

Vanuatu's education ministry says the aim of proposals to change the policy on the language used for tuition is not to make French more important than English.

This follows debate in the Daily Post newspaper over whether French is to be given more prominence than English as part of a policy espoused by the mainly francophone UMP Party.

The paper's publisher, Marc Neil Jones, says proposed changes include nine hours per week of teaching in French and only 45 minutes of English.

But the education minister's second political advisor, Wilfred Makaba, says the Daily Post debate does not show what the government is trying to achieve.

"Those people that wrote the news in the Daily Post are not currently aware of what is happening in the education system, what we are trying to set in place. We are trying to improve English and French together."

Wilfred Makaba of the Vanuatu education ministry.