An amendment to the Education Act no.9 of 2014 has allowed the Government to nominate its own candidate for the National Scholarship and Training Board (NSTB) chairman position.
The instrument of appointment — member and chairperson of the National Council for Scholarships and Training, order no.110 of the 2020 was published in the official gazette last month after being passed in parliament.
Before this amendment, the Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) is usually the chairman of the NSTB.
Following the amendment, the government appointed a new chairman — John Avock Mahit- who met the members of the council last week.
As the chairman, he is responsible for chairing board meetings, as well as establishing agenda and planning.
According to a statement from the MoET, Mr Mahit stressed after his appointment that COVID-19 has seriously shaken the world and the result could be a transformation of the global economy as well as its institutions and industries.
“Cyclone Harold and the COVID-19 pandemic have had a major impact on our economy, but we shouldn’t give up, and see how we could better adapt in relation to the current situation.
“Navigating this crisis will be difficult, but at the end of the tunnel there could be a more sustainable future. Information and communication technologies (ICT) have a key role to play in this regard.
“Everyone has the capacity and this culture in their veins, but with the current situation, how can we adapt our services to the people.”
He explained that in this time of crisis it is important for the country to focus on productive sectors such as agriculture and make the most out it.
He said the country needs more technicality, know-how and capacity building especially in the productive sector.
Mr Avock was a staff of the National Statistics Office and Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority before entering the private sector.