PIHEL is raising funds for the creation and running of a Special Assistance School for disabled and disadvantaged children in Northern Vanuatu as part of its long term Education strategy. Remoteness, physical and mental disability, social stigma and poverty all contribute to barring these children from being able to go to school. The lack of any suitable schools and unavailability of the dedicated and specially trained educators needed to teach these children makes it almost impossible to achieve a successful outcome.
The first stage of this project has been to work with local Vanuatu teachers and Australian specialists to develop an appropriate curriculum in line with Vanuatu education requirements. We are also starting the process of recruiting an experienced educator and other staff who will manage the setting up and fit out of a school building, and the enrolment of the initial group of primary age students to start in 2022. The school will make use of existing, available and appropriate building space while permanent purpose built facilities that properly provide for the needs of up to 50 disabled and disadvantaged children are developed over the next two years.
Future stages will increase the special assistance school capacity as needed to provide secondary education and technical training as part of the overall objective to provide a comprehensive education and training facility for the Northern Islands of Vanuatu.
As with all PIHEL supported projects, the school development will be carried out in partnership with local communities and Government agencies, employ local staff whenever possible and support local businesses when purchasing goods and services. Respect for the local community, their leaders and culture will be a fundamental requirement of any overseas staff involved in the project.