The President of the Vanuatu Teachers Union (VTU), Willie Abiut, has appealed to all churches throughout the country to unite to urge the Government to support all pregnant mothers and breastfeeding mothers with children as far as five years old, to formalise the Government Education System by making it compulsory for the mothers and their children to attend workshops to prepare their children to enter kindergarten.
The VTU President says the Presbyterian Church has such an education system called, Pikinini Play Group (PPG), to start training “the leaders of tomorrow”.
Speaking also as a Presbyterian Church Elder of Vila North Session, Abiut says he sees the importance of PPG because the group consists of pregnant mothers as well as mothers with newborn babies to as old as five years old.
Abiut who is a registered primary school teacher by trade is well known as a “miracle maker” who had the means to build double classroom blocks in many schools in Malampa as well as Shefa Provinces.
A son of the famous Presbyterian Church Elder late Jimmy Ansen, Abiut was linked to charitable organisations in New Zealand and other countries who were ever ready to provide building materials for new classrooms where he taught.
This time in his official position as President of VTU, he says, “PPG is an ongoing church programme which even the Ministry of Education and the Government have overlooked in which to involve pregnant mothers, breast feeding mothers and little children from zero to five years old.
“This is a very important programme which babies begin training when still in the belly so that once they start Kindy, it is all much easier since the learning started before they were born.
“Evidence has already been proven that the PPG is a highly promising programme”.
Abiut says he was invited to the workshop two days ago where he says, “I encouraged all participants that each of them is born for a specific purpose. I quoted Galatians Chapter 6 verse 9 which reads, ‘Do not become tired of doing good. If you do not give up, the time will come when you will reap the harvest’.
“When the Government does not pay you, I want to thank you all for the very important role the church plays because the workshop you attend becomes the springboard for all kindergarten kids to prepare to enter year one many of whom, will become the leaders of tomorrow”.
He says so many children do not perform well in school today because they started their education late and not at the roots. “For this reason, I’d like the Government to support this programme”, he concludes.