Conversation with Maria Yamsiu: South Pacific Form Seven Certificate 2021

How has your involvement in the implementation of the South Pacific Form Seven Certificate Francophone curriculum helped Vanuatu’s education system in 2021?

I was the Senior Assessment Officer at that time and was partly involved in the implementation of SPFSC Assessment. The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) has assisted Vanuatu’s Examination and Assessment Unit in preparing the Year 13 Assessments for the Francophone students. This is the first time in history, that SPFSC Francophone schools had a harmonized national curriculum with Anglophone schools.

What were some challenges that you encountered and how were these overcome?

The main challenge faced by the SPFSC students was a lack of resources such as textbooks to use for the new curriculum. Francophone school teachers worked together with Anglophone teachers to share resources. With SPFSC Moodle, Francophone teachers use the notes and translate it to their students. A few Francophone schools collaborated with Anglophone schools to share equipment and chemicals. The second challenge faced by students while preparing for the SPFSC assessment was the lack of support from teachers especially in research and investigations skills. Some Francophone schools are trying to run some workshops to address those issues.

What is the value of having a Francophone SPFSC assessment at the Year 13 level to Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education?

The main idea behind a Francophone SPFSC Assessment at the Year 13 level according to Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education and Training was that the assessment acted as a bridge to University Entrance without going to Year 14. In the Francophone system, students have to do Year 14 before going to a university which is so expensive for parents to pay school fees one more year compared to Anglophone parents.

How would you describe the partnership between the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) and SPC’s EQAP team in making the Francophone SPFSC a reality?

The partnership between CDU and SPC’s EQAP has the most important role. The two teams worked together to improve the curriculum for Year 13, making the Francophone SPFSC a reality. In other words, to bridge the gap between the Year 13 Francophone Curriculum and Year 14 Curriculum, allowing students to go directly into universities in France and New Caledonia after Year 13.

 

Any other comments?

The Pacific Schools Information Management System (PacSIMS) has assisted the Vanuatu Ministry of Education to process Year 13 Francophone results on time and improved the reporting of students’ assessment to stakeholders (school, parents, students and decision makers) on a timely basis. Also, further requests have been sent to the EQAP team to support CDU to develop lesson activities for year 13 Francophone students.

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Sonal Aujla

Communications and Visibility Officer, Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP), Pacific Community (SPC)