Adventist education in a class of its own in Vanuatu

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Members of the Kerbeta community showing the land they have set aside for an Adventist school.

Adventist education in Vanuatu has such a good reputation that communities are very eager to establish an Adventist school in their village despite differences in religion.

The largely Anglican village of Kerbeta in Torba Province (Vanua Lava) is one such community pressing forward with a desire to have an Adventist school.

“The tribe has offered a 100m x 120m piece of land that can be extended if more land is needed,” said Trans-Pacific Union Mission associate education director Mele Vaihola, who recently visited the village.

“The community is working with the [Vanuatu] Mission and Ministry of Education to have documents prepared for submission for registering the school.”

Mele Vaihola, Trans Pacific Union Mission associate education director.

Vanuatu Mission director of education, Gilrick Joshua, said students currently have to walk 3-4 kilometres daily to reach the nearest school, which discourages them from attending. Another major hurdle occurs during the rainy season when students can’t get to school due to the river flooding.

“The elders of the community wanted a school set up in the village to access education easily,” Mr Joshua said.

“Past attempts by other education providers have not been successful and have not met the community’s expectations.

“The community at Kerbeta sees Adventist education has very unique qualities, which not only impact a child holistically, but even make significant changes to the family and community the child is part of.

“Their vision is for their children attending an Adventist school to make a difference anywhere they live.”