High enrolment putting pressure on Port Vila primary

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Port Vila Seventh-day Adventist Primary at Nambatu (Vanuatu) has turned its library into a classroom to create more space for another grade 1 class, following a record enrolment this year of 370 students.

“We have limited space. But parents keep on coming to us, begging for space,” said school principal Andrew John. “Despite our limited resources we are also concerned for children and so we’ve allowed them in.”

The high intake is putting some pressure on the school’s administration to finalise plans with the Adventist Mission to expand its classrooms. This year the school is preparing to construct a new building to be equipped with better toilets and a staff room.

“Our intake this year has experienced a big increase. Two factors contributed to this increase. The majority of new nurses from Solomon Islands working in our hospital are Adventists and they wanted their kids to study in a faith based school. Also, Adventist parents want their kids to study in an Adventist school,” said Mr John.

Sixty per cent of the students studying at Port Vila are Adventists.

Currently, there are 15 staff including kindergarten teachers, assistant teachers and administration staff. Six of the teachers are paid by the Vanuatu Government and nine are paid by the school. Port Vila has lodged applications with the government, seeking financial support to help pay teachers’ salaries. They are waiting on a reply.

In June, the school will hold an open day where students’ and teachers’ work will be displayed for parents and members of the public to see.