Vanuatu Education Policy post-2015: ‘alternative’, decolonising processes for ‘development’

Alexandra McCormick


This article is based on ongoing research in Vanuatu and the wider Pacific. It maps multi-level roles that education and development policy actors, and civil societies in particular, have increasingly been playing in official education and development policy activities. Most recently this has been in relation to the ‘post-2015’ agendas and processes that contributed to creating the ‘sustainable development goals’. I argue that the decolonising discourses of self-reliance that gained traction in national independence movements have maintained emphasis in Vanuatu civil society and government approaches to national education and development policy. In considering these processes, I employ critical discourse analysis to interrogate some implications of current global(-ized) discourses and frameworks for education and development through lenses of decolonising regional histories and dynamic geo-political regional power relations.


Dynamic, indigenous kastom beliefs and practices are central to most aspects of life for most ni-Vanuatu people (Regenvanu 2010). They have been a foundation for the recognition and revitalisation of the ‘traditional economy’ and ‘alternative’ visions of development (Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs 2012). Related aspects of traditional/modern dialectics have long underpinned education and development processes and thinking; their negotiation at the interstices of complex economic, historical, and political changes through multi-level education, governance, and research relationships has been striking. The associated policy relationships are as rich and promisingand as disparate and variedas those in the field of comparative and international education.



Vanuatu; education; sustainable development goals; decolonising

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