Supporting ICT education in Vanuatu

Datacom works to boost computer literacy in Oceania

As part of its overseas mission, Brisbane’s Calvary Christian College supports education in the Pacific Islands.

Calvary Christian College partnered with Datacom to improve the educational tools available to the teachers and pupils of Vanuatu and support the digitalisation of schools internationally.

The Pacific Advancing Education Conference was held at Luganville’s Kamewa Central School in June 2017. It featured 188 principals, deputies and teachers from 38 schools.

Calvary Christian College’s (CCC) involvement with the conference and more widely, with education in Vanuatu, is part of its overall philosophy of thinking big and valuing excellence. It is this drive that has seen the Queensland-based school grow from two temporary buildings in 1984, to where they now have 1,200 students across two sites.

Given Datacom’s ongoing relationship with CCC it agreed to take part and conduct a range of different workshops, which discussed the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) into the classroom, including Datacom Education’s Professional Learning Services. These workshops played a valuable role in the event’s wider aim of providing local teachers with insights into current teaching practices.

Datacom Education’s consultant, Amanda Tanks, provided the equipment for the project as well as a wealth of pedagogical and technical expertise. Her experience in both primary and secondary schooling meant she provided valuable advice on delivering IT curricular within a range of school environments. Her workshops demonstrated a range of cuttingedge immersive technologies including virtual reality goggles, robotics, circuitry boards and coding. Datacom also donated robotics tools to four schools in Vanuatu to support their move into digital technology.

Such technology has not been accessible to the teachers who attended the conference until now, and their presence helped increase attendance from last year by 500 per cent.

Datacom’s involvement is seen as an important part of Vanuatu’s long-term development given the growing demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills in the workplace.

This ongoing project initially started with the construction of new libraries for the participating Vanuatu schools, work that was then followed up with professional development for their teachers.

A return visit is planned for the 2018 conference where it is hoped further professional development will be offered to an estimated 425 delegates.