Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education and Training (MET), for the first time, rolled out the nationalised version of the South Pacific Form Seven Certificate (SPFSC) programme with the support of the Pacific Community (SPC).
The SPFSC is an accredited course offered to Pacific Island countries as a qualification to help students to enter tertiary studies or to secure employment.
SPC’s Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) supported Vanuatu’s MET throughout its preparatory years before nationalising the Year 13 qualification, with the aim to boost nationalisation outcomes for Vanuatu’s education system.
Adrian Tari, Vanuatu MET’s Senior Secondary Assessment Officer stated that the nationalisation of the Year 13 programme benefits the nation’s education system, especially for students studying French, as they can now be awarded a similar higher education qualification to English-speaking students.
Tari further explained that Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education has reached another milestone through the nationalisation of Year 13 qualification as “it will help support Vanuatu’s education system to strengthen its pre-existing vision to support our Francophone students to get into French Universities in the region and abroad”.
She added that this shift will also give the Ministry the opportunity to measure and compare the standards of performance achieved by both French and English-speaking students.
“Our teachers have acquired a lot of skills and knowledge from the training and workshops offered by EQAP on how they can improve their writing skills to produce quality assessments that will enhance quality academic performances in our students, both Francophone and Anglophone, “said Tari.
EQAP fulfils a unique and important role as a regional public good, supporting and supplementing regional, subregional and national education systems.
EQAP’s Team Leader for Curriculum and Assessment, Mere Vadei, highlighted that “such a system capability speaks of strength and resilience of the education system and the government and puts the country at a good level of independence and autonomy. The Year 13 qualification becomes one ‘by Vanuatu for Vanuatu.”
Vadei explained that EQAP’s role during the nationalisation process such as supporting the Ministry of Education in Vanuatu with capacity building of teachers and Ministry staff, and quality verification of the implementation of the Year 13 qualification; “so that recognition of their Year 13 qualification may be granted by tertiary institutions.”
Nationalising the Year 13 qualification in Vanuatu is in line with achieving some associated targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 4 which strive to provide children and youth with a nurturing environment for the full realisation of their rights and capabilities.
A total of 14 subjects (Mathematics with Calculus, Mathematics with Statistics, English, French, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting, Economics, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Agriculture, and Tourism and Hospitality) are offered through the SPFSC programme. All subjects have internal assessment components and an external examination.
EQAP is currently providing capacity support to Vanuatu’s Curriculum Development Unit in the review and redevelopment of Year 13 subject syllabi and the Examinations and Assessment unit in the development and moderation of national examination papers. EQAP will continue to support Vanuatu MET after the nationalisation process is complete.