For a third consecutive year, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy has brought secondary school students together to dissect, discuss and dispute key issues of the region. Ten schools from Efate have signed up to compete in a new format aimed to provide greater levels of participation and learning for students. The following is an update (with video clips) of the 2016 competition.
Working together with IBS, the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training, the National Parliament of the Solomon Islands and Fiji’s Ministry of Education, PiPP has developed a range of resources for the Melanesian School Debate (MSD). This sub-regional debate initiative brings together the region's future leaders to interpret and assess key regional issues, providing them with the space to explore new perspectives and present an informed exchange of ideas to their peers and community.
For teachers, schools, civil society groups and organisations who are interested in debate, PiPP has developed a number of debate introductory activities that can be adopted, including a simplified classroom debate handbook that can be shared with students to introduce the concepts.
The Pacific is still struggling to get women into parliaments across the region. Mary Jack Kaviamu recently contested the 2016 Vanuatu national snap election in the Tanna open constituency. Although she failed to secure a seat, she clearly hasn't given up. For Mary and her supporters, the journey has just begun. Here she relays her experience, particularly the challenges encountered on the way.
On 22 January 2016 the people of Vanuatu went to the polls to elect the eleventh and most diverse national Parliament. In this post we look more closely at the results, which reveals democracy in Vanuatu is seemingly delivering a kind of micro federalisation. While this is reflective of the reality on the ground, it does not bode well for nation building, and presents a significant challenge for political parties to consolidate or grow their share of the popular vote.
This is a transcript of Jonathan Guyant's statement at the grand final of the Melanesian School Debate competition, staged last week in Port Vila. Jonathan was the first speaker of the Vanuatu team arguing against the motion that Melanesia must globalise to succeed. He was awarded Best Speaker for the debate final.