Amongst the recent ni-Vanuatu student repatriation from Fiji were students of the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, who, along with all other repatriates, are complying with national quarantine requirements.
APTC Country Director for Vanuatu and Nauru, Anna Naupa, acknowledges the supportive and essential role of the Vanuatu Government in ensuring arrangements were possible.
“Due to the COVID-19 situation, students from across the Pacific island region have been disrupted in their learning, for those who have been apart from families, this has been a worrying time,” Ms Naupa said.
“We are grateful to the Vanuatu Government for facilitating diplomatic arrangements to enable our students to return home and are pleased to contribute to their repatriation and quarantine costs as part of APTC’s duty of care to our students.”
Ms Naupa added that APTC continues to accommodate and support international students who remain stranded while borders are closed.
APTC is able to continue delivering training programs in spite of border closures. The second semester will commence on Monday 6 July 2020, with a full cohort of national students until international borders re-open to enable intra-regional travel for education. Online learning platforms will also enable study and training to continue.
Ms Naupa reassures the public that APTC, which shares a campus with national partner the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT), complies with national authorities’ directives for hygiene and physical distancing and ensuring that protocols are regularly applied by staff, students and visitors alike.
“APTC in Vanuatu will also, for the first time, conduct a virtual graduation for students in July 2020,” says Naupa.
“The current global health pandemic calls for new ways of social interaction that is respectful to our situation yet equally celebratory for Vanuatu’s deserving and hard-working students.”
Continued skills development and training is essential for a national workforce and economy to recover and thrive. APTC is working closely with Pacific governments and training partners to align training courses to labour market needs.