COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$0.75 million

Year: 2020-2021

Grant agent: Save the Children

Key document:

Application and program document

Ministry of education’s COVID-19 response plan

The US$750,000 COVID-19 grant supports:

  • printing standardized home-school packages for preschools and primary schools (10 weeks of activities), including versions for children with disabilities (braille, large print and audio versions)
  • producing radio and SMS lessons for preschool and primary school to accompany home-schooling packages, focusing on inclusion, psychosocial support and child protection
  • homeschool guidelines for parents and guardians for effective home-schooling for children, including those with disabilities.

Education in Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Education and Training Sector Strategy (VETSS) for 2020-2030 recognizes education and training are key to a better and innovative future, protection of the country’s culture and identity, and the development of each and every individual, community, society and the nation as a whole.

It was developed to align with and respond to the strategic direction and intent of the National Sustainable Development Plan 2016 to 2030 (The People’s Plan) and provides the direction and set priorities, taking into account the different key policy areas such as teacher quality, school subsidies, inclusive education, plurilingualism, infrastructure, curriculum, minimum standards, evidence-based policies, management systems, monitoring and evaluation, rationalization of resources, devolution, governance, partnerships and communication.

Vanuatu’s education system uses the “2 - 6 - 4 – 3” model (2 years of preschool, 6 years of primary, 4 years of lower secondary, and 3 years of upper secondary) plus post-secondary education.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) manages the country’s education sector, supported by church education authorities. 

Over 98% of primary schools in Vanuatu are either public schools or government-assisted church schools. In the latter, church-operators are designated as ‘Education Authorities’ and operate under an agreement and regulatory framework with MoET to administer schools on behalf of the government.

A total of 92,600 students were enrolled in 2019 served by 4,230 teachers in a total of 1,453 schools. Vanuatu has achieved universal primary education. Nonetheless, enrollment rates in secondary education are still low, showing that a significant number of students drops out during secondary education.

Over the past four years, more boys than girls dropped out of school at the primary and secondary levels.

Results of the Vanuatu Standardized Test of Achievement (VANSTA) showed that 35% of Grade 4 students did not achieve minimum literacy standards in English in 2017, though results have been improving over the years.

Latest grant

Students from Rensarie College, Malekula Island, return from school. Vanuatu. Credit: Tom Perry / World Bank

Students from Rensarie College, Malekula Island, return from school. Vanuatu.

CREDIT: Tom Perry / World Bank
Development objective: Ensure education and training continuity during and after disaster by providing support and a safe schooling environment in the affected areas
Allocation: US$750,000
Years: 2020
Grant agent: Save the Children UK
Disbursements: US$0

The program funded by the US$0.5 million grant supports activities included in the Tropical Cyclone Harold Response Plan, an immediate humanitarian relief to Vanuatu put in place to respond to the damage caused by the cyclone that hit the country in April 2020. Its main focus is to:

  • Procure and distribute 125 classroom tents to provide temporary learning centers in primary schools that were damaged or are used as emergency shelters in the three provinces of Malampa, Penama and Sanma
  • Procure and distribute 125 sets of teaching and learning materials such as Year 1-3 teacher guides, Year 4-6 syllabus, reading materials, stationary, waterproof box, and chalkboard materials.

Learning centers will be established in places where female students and those with disabilities could easily and safely access them. In total, approximately 2,775 primary school students and 125 primary school teachers will benefit from the program.

The program relies on the Program Support Unit (PSU), to be embedded in the ministry to provide additional technical advice and fiduciary support, including monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Accelerated funding 2020 499,796 0 Save the Children UK
COVID-19 2020 750,000 0 Save the Children UK
Sector plan development 2017-2019 455,690 455,690 UNICEF
Program development 2020 174,816 0 Save the Children UK
  Total 1,880,302 455,690  
Data last updated: October 15, 2020

Last updated July 22, 2020