Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education

Institut de Formation des Enseignants du Vanuatu






History of VITE

.:Teacher Training pre-Independence


The first government-sponsored teacher training institution in Vanuatu opened in 1962, eighteen years before Independence. This was the Kawenu Teacher Training College. Up to this date all teacher training had been provided at mission-run establishments such as the Tangoa Training Institute. In 1959 the British Administration appointed its first Education Officer and gradually, over the years, acquired direct responsibility from most missions for English-medium primary education.

Funded by the British Administration of the New Hebrides Condominium, the Kawenu Teacher Training College was established to train English primary school teachers. It provided a two year course initially for lower classes only, then later for all primary classes. In addition it ran shorter inservice courses. In the early 1970s a three year course was established, admitting students who had completed three years of junior secondary school.

In 1977 Kawenu College amalgamated with the British Secondary School to form Malapoa College. In association with the University of the South Pacific, the College offered a teaching diploma for students who had completed six years of secondary education, including a teacher training component.

The first government-sponsored teacher training institution in Vanuatu opened in 1962, eighteen years before Independence. This was the Kawenu Teacher Training College. Up to this date all teacher training had been provided at mission-run establishments such as the Tangoa Training Institute. In 1959 the British Administration appointed its first Education Officer and gradually, over the years, acquired direct responsibility from most missions for English-medium primary education.

Funded by the British Administration of the New Hebrides Condominium, the Kawenu Teacher Training College was established to train English primary school teachers. It provided a two year course initially for lower classes only, then later for all primary classes. In addition it ran shorter inservice courses. In the early 1970s a three year course was established, admitting students who had completed three years of junior secondary school.

In 1977 Kawenu College amalgamated with the British Secondary School to form Malapoa College. In association with the University of the South Pacific, the College offered a teaching diploma for students who had completed six years of secondary education, including a teacher training component.

Francophone primary training

In the meantime, rapid expansion of French-medium schools under the French Administration of the Condominium led to similar progress at a national level for the training of francophone primary school teachers. From 1964 to 1981, the year following Independence, French staff provided this training in the buildings of the present-day French Embassy and French Embassy School. The institution was known as the École Normale. Courses of varying duration catered for the needs of students newly entering the profession and for those working as untrained teachers or with some church mission training.



.:Teacher Training post-Independence

In early 1980 the teacher training section separated from the Malapoa College to form the New Hebrides Teachers College, which became the Vanuatu Teachers College upon Independence. Courses were provided once again for junior secondary school leavers.

In 1981 the courses previously held at the École Normale were moved to join the anglophone courses at Kawenu. The Vanuatu Teachers College (École Normale de Vanuatu) thus became the first example of the integration of French and English-medium education services under the Vanuatu Government. The College offered courses of different lengths, both pre-service and in-service, in the two official languages of education until 1983. That year students began the new two-year common anglophone and francophone primary programme which is still offered today. Since the end of the 80s however, students enrolling in the primary programme have had an entry level of Year 12 completion.

In 1984 the Vanuatu Institute of Education (VIOE) was created and the College changed its status and name to become the Teacher Education Centre within the VIOE. At the end of 1990 reorganisation took place within the Department of Education and Vanuatu Teachers College once more came into being as a separate institution. It had its own Principal and a College Council of eleven members to oversee its management.

Francophone secondary training from 1987

Recognizing the need to train junior secondary teachers, the French Government financed teaching diplomas from 1987 onwards, with courses being offered at Lycée Antoine de Bougainville and Institut National de Technologie du Vanuatu (INTV).

Limited secondary anglophone training in early 90s

Junior secondary teacher training for anglophone students took place between 1991 and 1993. Fifty-five students qualified to become teachers in English-medium secondary schools through the Primary and Secondary Education Project (PASEP) funded by the Vanuatu Government, the World Bank and the Australian Government. After this project finished there was no further programme for the training of anglophone junior secondary teachers in-country until the start of the Vanuatu-Australia Secondary Teacher Education Project (VASTEP) programme in 2000.

The training of francophone student teachers continued, and in 1995 the secondary French-medium training programme was transferred to the Basic Education Training Centre (BETC/VTC). At this point the French title of the establishment was changed to le Centre de Formation de l'Education de Base (CFEB), whereas the BETC was once again known as the Vanuatu Teachers College.

Modern facilities follow 1997 fire

Significant changes have affected the College profoundly since 1997, transforming it gradually into a modern tertiary campus. Following a devastating fire in May 1997, the French and Australian Governments assisted the Government of Vanuatu with the construction of a modern administrative block and dining complex. Further vital upgrading of college facilities began in 1999, funded and administered by the European Union. An attractive, functional library building, with computer facilities, opened its doors soon after to the current year's intake of students. The European Union Vanuatu Educational Development Project (EUVED) has also added a new science block, more classrooms and expanded dormitory accommodation. Six new staff houses, financed by AusAID, were constructed in 2001. Two more staff houses were built in 2002 which completed the infrastructure of the college.

Full tertiary status

The setting up of VASTEP in 1999 met the urgent need for teacher education in the anglophone sector as well as the training of ni-Vanuatu lecturers. The Year 2001 became significant in the history of this country’s education because, for the first time, teacher training in each cycle and language of instruction was now assured in-country. Student intake for the four teaching diplomas, with 200 students on campus, was complete. The year 2001 also marked another milestone, the graduation of the first cohort of VASTEP-trained teachers.

Teacher training in Vanuatu has now attained full tertiary status. A name change in 2001 to ‘Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education’ (Institut de Formation des Enseignants du Vanuatu) symbolized this change.