I read the above article with interest.
I would imagine the new policy of teaching lower primary in Bislama, will not help them one bit!
In fact, as testament to my statement; I was recently in Apia, Samoa, were the local language has been substituted for English in Primary schools, it was very hard to hold a conversation with most shop workers, taxi drivers or hotel staff, etc.
Sure, those who had been to college or had higher education were ok and one could talk and joke with them to a degree but there was still an amount of reservation! Whereas the same people often from the same families, but in American Samoa who had a full English education would often have no problem holding conviction and would often initiate the conversation with me.
I think those “In Education Decision Making”, often well versed in English themselves, don’t seem to understand the problem they are inflicting on those who don’t go very far in schools and so are then deprived of gaining extra knowledge in the future by simple the reason, they lack the understanding of the language that knowledge is written or spoken in!
I often wonder, if it is not a ploy, on the part of the well to, do to maintain their own sates-quo in society, by deliberately not providing the opportunities to progress to a higher level of leaning, for all!
As to “Chinese shop Owners”, or any one requesting Immigration or work permit status in Vanuatu; they should be able to pass, at least one of the national Language tests, at a high level, as is the case with many other countries now! If you don’t Speak, English or French, to a professional level then, you don’t qualify for a Visa, to work or operate here,
(or a Passport!)
In the past few days, I have witnessed many “Non-citizens” doing tasks, I am sure any one form Vanuatu could have done. Digging holes and pouring cement foundations for Airport Lighting and filling in the hole laying pipes etc. Is our education level so low now, that local people can’t work out which end of spade to used or how to mix cement how to read a sprit level?
If this is the case then it adds more fuel to my argument above!
Please “Educators” teach to the highest level, not to “just sufficient” for today with of regard for tomorrow, as you don’t know what these young people may aspire to where would Sir Richard Brandon, myself and many others be who found school a struggle if we had let the education system hold us back?