A Signing Ceremony in Isangel on Friday 9 June saw representatives from Tafea Provincial Government, the Ministry of Education and Tafea College Council sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Margaret Macfarlane, Team Leader of the Australian Government funded Technical Vocational Education and Training Program.

The TVET Sector Strengthening Program has as one of its key objectives the strengthening of technical and life skills training not only in Rural Training Centres but also in schools throughout the country. Daniel Lamoureux, Director General of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports nominated Tafea College as the formal sector school in Tafea Province to enter into a partnership with the TVET Program.

Joseph Nok, representative of Tafea College Council pointed out to the gathered crowd of parents, community members and students that too many young people were leaving the school system and returning to their homes without technical and life skills to be able to contribute to their communities or to set up a small business. He emphasised that the TVET Program would assist all kinds of training providers in Tafea as well as schools and rural training centres with equipment, resources and training scholarships.

Mr Johnny Tapasai, Acting Principal of Tafea College remarked, “I look about me in villages here in Tafea and see young people without the chance to do something special with their lives. The TVET Program will provide opportunities for students who have already left school to pick up skills training in areas such as mechanics, agriculture and hospitality. As a Key Principal, I intend to use the model we set up at Tafea College to encourage and mentor all secondary schools in Tafea to develop their technical and skills training courses.”

For those still in schools, the TVET Sector Strengthening Program will provide advice and assistance initially to Tafea College to up-grade technical teacher qualifications, teaching resources and equipment.

Chief Peter also emphasized the importance of training saying Tafea wanted their young people to have skills needed to develop the living standard of their communities. “In the nakamals I will spread the word of this chance to get training that is appropriate to life in the rural area.”

For Tafea, the signing of this MOU is only the first step in assisting the strengthening of technical and skills training in Tafea. The TVET Sector Strengthening Program will soon mobilise Sam Samuel, Rural Training Officer to Tanna. A training centre is to be set up in Tanna from which training for Tafea Province will be coordinated with the assistance of the Tafea Provincial Training Board. Mr Samuel will use a training trailer equipped with carpentry and mechanics tools, cooking equipment, agricultural tools to travel to villages and RTCs with trainers from the Vanuatu Institute of Technology and local NGOs such as World Vision.

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