11 women from TORBA Province have recently been trained by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) in an English class referred to as the Mama’s English Class (MEC).

The training was conducted at the Baldwin Lonsdale Memorial School (BLMS) with implementation support of the Australian Government-funded Vanuatu Education Support Program (VESP) purposely to tackle the low literacy rate in the province.

According to a statement issued by the MoET earlier this week, TORBA Province has the second lowest literacy rate for women and men over the age of 15, therefore the parents in the province wanted to learn English so they can help their children improve their skills in English talking, listening, reading and writing.

As relayed by the press statement, the trainees selected from Vanualava, Mota and Motalava, were trained by the two MEC trainers, Ms Tousong Kalsong and Ms Brigitte Ngwero who gave that course participants 15 teacher guidebooks and 100 student workbooks.

According to the statement, these 11 TORBA women are now certified to deliver the MEC in communities throughout the province as of this month, and all communities are expected to receive this training by the end of October 2023.

The MoET’s early childhood care and education expert, Ms Jennifer James, praised the women’s ability and interest to learn and expressed that she was impressed by how confident the future trainers feel about delivering English classes.

“It is very encouraging to see how the 11 women quickly learnt over the week. The Mama’s English Class will empower mothers and caregivers in TORBA by strengthening their knowledge of English,” she said.

One of the participants, Ms Jemina Lonsdale from Sola, stated, “I feel privileged to be a part of this training of trainers. We are all looking forward to start the Mama’s English Class in the communities.

“We have formed four groups out of the 11 trainers in TORBA. The four groups will start visiting communities this month and train small groups of five to six caregivers.”

The MoET, communities, schools across Vanuatu and the development partners are committed to delivering the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and improving access, quality and management of education in Vanuatu.