Chinese Embassy and VoET Held Virtual Meeting to Promote Chinese Government Scholarship
2021-01-21 06:02

On January 20th, the Chinese Embassy and Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training jointly held a virtual meeting to promote 2021/2022 Chinese Government Scholarship. Hon. Seule Simeon, Vanuatu Minister of Education and Training, Ms. Lin Bin, Deputy Chief Mission and Counselor of the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Lionel Nasome Kaluat, First PA to Minister Simeon, Director General Bergmans Iati and other VoET officials were present. The Chinese Embassy was the main venue of the meeting. Ni-Van applicants participated in sub-venues, including Luganville Municipal Council, Vanuatu-China Friendship Association, USP Emalus Campus Confucius Classroom and Vila Central School Hall. The event was live streamed by VBTC.

In her opening remarks, Counselor Lin said, "Studying in China has become a top choice for more and more international students across the world." She listed major factors attracting international students to China, including a time-honored civilization, rapid economic growth, technological advancement, high degree of tertiary education, tremendous opportunities and endless wonders. "For Ni-Van students in particular, the China-Vanuatu relationship is at the best time in history. Both countries are committed to forging a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development. Studying in China will enable Ni-Van students, with knowledge and skills acquired, to better contribute to Vanuatu's nation building and China-Vanuatu mutually beneficial cooperation, and also realize personal career goals", she emphasized.

Lin said, 185 Chinese Government Scholarships have been awarded to Ni-Van students since 1995, three Chinese teachers are now working in Vanuatu, and the Vanuatu government has designated Mandarin as the No. 1 foreign language to be taught in local schools. There are broad prospects for educational exchange and cooperation between the two countries, she added.

"Facts have proven and will continue to prove, applying for Chinese Government Scholarship will open a new chapter for the life of young Ni-Van citizens, which will help you grow to be the pillars of Vanuatu's national development and good-will ambassadors for China-Vanuatu relations", she summarized.

In his closing remarks, Minister Simeon said, "Education is key to increasing Vanuatu's pathways to success. It is the foundation that can lead to increase well-being across all other aspects of life."

"The Vanuatu Government through the Ministry of Education and Training provides policies and initiatives with the aim of improving Vanuatu Education Outcomes. MoET has made funding available for the benefit of students, particularly in the areas of early childhood education, school education, higher education access, scholarships and teacher building capacity", he stressed.

He highlighted some of the great improvements, including rapid and detailed assessments of TC Harold impacts conducted to schools in the affected provinces and reported to Minister's Office, NDMO and NROC at PM's Office; COVID-19 Contingency Plan and TC Harold Response Plan produced, implemented and reported on; effective coordination of the delivery of Home-School Package and its monitoring for primary and secondary schools in all provinces during the initial stages of COVID-19 pandemic in Vanuatu; Radio Broadcast on Home Skul developed and broadcast for both mainstream and inclusive schools; continuous implementation of the reviewed national primary and secondary school curriculum – Years 1 to 5, and Years 11 & 12 curriculum; National University of Vanuatu (NUV) Council was established and NUV Vice Chancellor was officially appointed.

Minister Simeon admitted that there is still more work to do to deliver education outcome for Vanuatu. He pointed out some areas for further developments, including increasing literacy and numeracy attainment, particularly in remote areas; improving teachers' ability to support Vanuatu students and to teach all students about depth, wealth and diversity of Vanuatu histories and culture; and improving tertiary studies completion rate.

Minister Simeon echoed Counselor Lin's comments and thanked the Chinese Government for its continuous support to education given that the China-Vanuatu relationship is at the best time in history. The Vanuatu Government is working with Provincial Government, Education Authorities and Schools to strive for the best outcomes for Vanuatu to further broaden the prospects for educational cooperation between the two countries, he concluded.

During the meeting, the Chinese Embassy explained the Scholarship application procedure, Mr. John Avock Mahit, Chairman of the Vanuatu National Scholarship and Training Board introduced Vanuatu's scholarship policy and the benefits provided by Vanuatu Government to Ni-Van students studying in China. Selected Ni-Van students currently funded by Chinese Government Scholarship shared their experience in application and their life in China. The event can be watched again on VBTC's Facebook page.