David Malouf, an Australian Indigenous Literacy Foundation Ambassador, once said, “Reading is a form of magic. It gives us access to a world that has no limits and where everybody is welcome and can be at home.”
Students and alumni of the Australia Pacific Training Coalition’s (APTC) education support and early childhood education and care training helped spread the magic of picture books and distributed ‘buckets of learning’ to celebrate Kindy Day in Port Vila and Santo.
These buckets of learning include a range of fun resources for children to engage in meaningful play. They can be added to existing materials within kindergartens and to help promote inclusive education within schools.
The buckets of learning were delivered to Vila North School Kindergarten and the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability’s (VSPD) Early Intervention Program in Port Vila and to three kindergartens in Santo.
With a strong commitment to promote inclusive education in Vanuatu, APTC’s Education Support Trainer, Ruth Kirkby, is working closely with the Vanuatu Education Support Program (VESP) and with Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) through the Ministry of Education to promote key materials for inclusive teaching. She emphasised the importance of providing pre-school and kindergarten children with fun, engaging materials and tools to help with their individual learning.
“The early stages of a child’s development are significantly important to foster learning and identify additional support if required to enable them to fully realise and develop their potential,” said Mrs Kirkby. “We hope that these learning buckets will benefit the children and promote an inclusive leaning environment,” she added.
VSPD’s Early Intervention Team Leader, Sheila Anga, received one of these buckets of learning with a big grin and hope for closely-knit working relationship with APTC and its alumni in the future.
“We came to realise that children are more interactive and responsive when we use handheld games and toys,” said Ms Anga. “With these buckets of learning, I’m sure everyone in this program will enjoy benefiting from it and it’s the start of an exciting journey for our Early Intervention teachers and APTC’s Education Support Training and alumni,” she added.
APTC Vanuatu and Nauru Country Director, Ms Anna Naupa, was delighted to witness the handing over of the buckets of learning, demonstrating a step forward in making inclusive education a reality in Vanuatu.
“More than 80 ni-Vanuatu have graduated from APTC’s Certificate III in Education Support and it’s exciting to see them initiating these buckets of learning to support the ongoing progress for inclusive education in Vanuatu,” Ms Naupa said.
For children in early childhood, play creates inclusive learning for all. Play also promotes communication, social connection and fun – all important foundations required for success in learning.
On the day, APTC took the opportunity to wish all kindergarten students in Vanuatu a very happy Kindy Day and re-emphasised APTC’s commitment to work together to support every child to play, laugh, learn, and most importantly – have fun!
APTC’s Vanuatu Campus is funded by the Australian Government to provide demand-driven skills certifications to ni-Vanuatu to support the development of Vanuatu.