Bilingual education to be trialled; Compulsory blood tests for all MPs; New Chinese Ambassador

Minister for Education Jean-Pierre Nirua. Photo: Vanuatu Govt

Minister for Education Jean-Pierre Nirua. Photo: Vanuatu Govt

Education Minister Jean-Pierre Nirua noted an interesting linguistic experiment which is planned when he addressed the Vanuatu Institute of Technology graduation ceremony last week. It is to trial bi-linguistic education in Vanuatu. The policy is still in its early stages. It would ultimately mean – if successful – that “all children would be taught in both English and French… Teachers would be handling bilingual classes. It would do away with the need to have English schools and French schools,” as VIT has largely done. Certain VIT graduates are already benefiting, in their employment, from their use and ability with the two languages, the Minister said. Presently there are civil servants awaiting their retirement benefits and when these are paid out there will be more jobs for the present VIT graduates, Nirua added.

Deputy PM Joe Natuman praised the policy of the present Institute of Technology to buy the Sky Garden hotel property in Parliament last week. It will benefit the country’s students of tourism. “Students will use the facility when the Prime Minister’s Office moves out of the building in 2 years and INTV takes over, and as MPs we hope the place can be used as an accommodation facility by MPs coming to Port Vila for Parliamentary meetings thereafter,” Natuman said. Parliament was debating the Vt 40 million guarantee which must be awarded to VIT following the PMO’s requirement to use the Sky Garden hotel as offices to house the PM’s services in the duration of the renovations down the hill. VIT has a loan agreement with the National Bank for the purchase.

The 100 Day Plan of Government requires all MPs to undergo blood tests. Speaker Esmon Saemon announced this at the end of the first extra-ordinary sitting of Parliament last week. Government cannot meet the cost of the tests which range from Vt 3,000 to Vt 20,000. There are two Port Vila medical centres where MPs can have the tests.

Vanuatu has a new Chinese Ambassador as of this morning. Credentials were handed over to the President at State House. There was a VMF guard of honour. Details will be given in a future post.

The Port Vila Urban Development Project looking after our roads, drainage and so forth, is expecting more equipment to arrive soonest, Radio Vanuatu told us today. More on that, too, soon.


5 Comments on “Bilingual education to be trialled; Compulsory blood tests for all MPs; New Chinese Ambassador”

  1. ST says:

    Bilingualism is ok much I think there is less needed people with that opportunity in the workforce. All job ads have little or no favour for bilingualism as long as you know how-to-do part required then that’s it. Another point to consider in this issue is also the fact that anglophone schools outnumber the francophone ones. I don’t see any benefit in this initiative or we’ll have to re-educate all Vanuatu school teachers in order to qualify them for language fluency so to speak. the Minister Hn JPN is himself a bilingual asset and an example of this initiative.

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  2. Les says:

    I am intrigued by this blood test for MPs story. What are they being tested for? Who will be interpreting the results? Who will need to take any action on any abnormal results and monitor the progress? Is this an efficient way of spending some of the health department’s budget.

    Les

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    • Kalowie Robert says:

      It is a good plan. We have had previous cases of MPs who have died while holding office and it was very costly to replace them. And also sick MPs or ministers seeking overseas treatment drain the already constrained health recurrent budget. Prevention is better and so a blood test to determine the ‘health’ status of these ViPs is an excellent move. A blood test, as I understand it, gives a very clear picture of the general health of the blood and key body organs such as liver, kidney and the heart (cholesterol level – good and bad). The medical labs do the tests and MPs’ doctors will interpret them. For any abnormalities, it should be the MPs and their doctors who will need to take remedial actions and monitor progress, naturally. I don’t think the article is suggesting that the costs be met from the health’s budget. The MPs are very well paid and have the money to pay for this privately!! It’s their health and it’s worth their investment!!! Cheers.

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      • mimi says:

        I think this should have been done before an MP gets elected. Because, if the results show that an MP is sick, there is nothing we can do more on prevention but that the government will have to fund his treatment in one way or another until he leaves the red roof.
        The blood tests should have been an electoral candidate requirement in the first place (as well as tertiary education level and a stable marital status – one wife only) for persons to be fit and qualified for that high office.

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      • mimi says:

        I don’t think it is a good idea for the MPs to have that blood test done now.
        It should have been done before they became MPs – it should have been an electoral candidate requirement for all persons applying to be a candidate to be fit and healthy for that position.
        Now that this is going to happen, the results will not change anything except the fact that the government will have to spend one way or another until that person leaves the red roof.

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