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PORT VILA, VANUATU (21 April 2021): The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat was part of a two-day international symposium geared towards the integration of education and training, on cultural knowledge and vernacular into the Vanuatu Education system.

Hosted by the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and the Vanuatu Ministry of Education at the Malvatumauri House from 14-15 April, the MSG Secretariat was represented by Simione Tuimalega.

Mr Tuimalega, the Arts and Culture (A&C) Officer, said the symposium has significant relevance to one of the strategic priorities for the Secretariat’s A&C programme. 

He said the ongoing discussions contributed to the need to relook at the link between our Melanesian Arts and Culture and how we can use our Education system to safeguard our customs and language.

Mr Tuimalega said that the MSG Secretariat “is also proposing to facilitate a national symposium with possible themes, that are directly connected to our unique Melanesian arts and cultural items such as mats, carvings and traditional house building, and others”.

The international symposium had indeed provided the platform to gauge and further plan the proposed MSG symposiums. 

Among other issues discussed at the symposium in Port Vila were the importance of education and identity in Vanuatu; an awareness on archaeology and its contribution to cultural heritage in Vanuatu; work done in the area of safeguarding language and customs in Vanuatu; expeditions that were carried out by early colonisers in Vanuatu; and the advancement of language policy for Vanuatu.

Caption: MSG Secretariat Arts & Culture Officer Simione Tuimalega (2nd from left), President of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs, Chief Willie Gray Plasua (middle) and VNU Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Jean-Pierre Nirua (back, right) with other participants of the International Symposium.

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