Rural and Remote Education Support Program
In Vanuatu most early childhood teachers have no training and less than Year 12 education. Community based kindergartens typically have poor standard facilities and few resources and payment for teachers is quite low.
We know from research and experience that the formative years of a child's life are the critical time to build the foundation for a lifetime of learning and building literacy requires that young children be given opportunities to develop their oral communication skills. Tragically, the standard of early childhood care and education in Vanuatu is so poor that many children do not enrol in Class 1 and of those that do a significant proportion dropout and leave school before developing the ability to read.
Our Rural and Remote Education Support Program aims to provide basic skills and experience to teachers throughout Vanuatu. Teachers who join the program use their school holidays to come and participate in a classroom at Pikinini Playtime. They are exposed to a quality teaching environment and skilled local teachers that love children and demonstrate a passion for teaching.
While with us these teachers are provided with many ideas to improve their facility and program and given assistance to create a variety of classroom resources. Opportunity is provided in staff training sessions and one on one discussions to talk through and problem solve the issues they face in their village kindergartens.
When they return to their schools and kindies we send one of our teachers to teach in their classroom for one to two weeks to further assist them to apply their new skills.
Schools and Kindergartens that want ongoing support have the opportunity of entering into a 'Sister Kindy' or 'Sister Schoool' relationship that provides for additional assistance and regular exchanges of teachers between them and Pikinini Playtime.
More than a hundred teachers have accessed this program and one we have one Sister School and a Sister Kindy. Our Sister School, Rongdal, has progressed to Class 8 and now produces the highest standard of education on East Efate..
Sometimes people visiting Vanuatu bring resources that they want to give away to schools and kindergartens. We are more than happy to pass these resources on to those in our network who need resources more than we do.