New Caledonia students satisfied with Vanuatu tour
By Glenda Willie

Six students from the Geography-History ONL Class at the Lycee Antoine Kela in Poindimie, New Caledonia departed back to their country yesterday after spending a week of educational tour in Port Vila.

The students who are in their final year of school were accompanied by three of their teachers for cultural and linguistic immersion.

They achieved the goal of the visit which was for the (students) to develop their knowledge of the culture and political climate of Vanuatu, specifically, to learn the processes that led to the country’s independence as well as the subsequent economic consequences of this decision.

Given that New Caledonia is to have its referendum on independence in 2018, the tour was an opportunity for the students to observe a country that has lived through a situation similar to their own.

Aside from the educational objectives of the trip, the students have also enjoyed visiting many different attraction sites around Efate. They visited places like Mele Cascades, Mele Beach Bar, the Parliament House, the National Museum.

Roimata’s domain, Shark and turtle Bay and Blue Lagoon were additional places where they visited. They also had the chance to visit the Chocolate factory, the coffee factory and the kava factory.

The visits have been organized to explore the tourism industry in Vanuatu and how this works, to research the politics of the country, see it work before and after the Independence and to research the exports industry.

“We hope this trip helps to further strengthen the existing cultural and political ties between our two nations.

“We also hope to continue the exchange agreement between our two schools and look forward to welcoming any ni-Vanuatu students to Poindimie just as we currently do with our other sister school in New Zealand.”

Mr. Jones Nimbiwen, a teaching staff at Central School and also the relations officer for the sister school agreement acknowledged the visit from the New Caledonian students. He thanked the students and teachers for hosting their New Caledonian counterparts and agreed that the school administration is looking forward to organise a similar tour to New Caledonia in the future.

The Lycee Antoine Kela is 21 years old and has a student population of around 350.

Being located in the North East of New Caledonia, in the coastal town of Poindimie, majority of the students come from Kanak families and often travel for one to two hours on Sunday and Friday afternoons to and from school, spending the week in campus accommodation.

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