Education in Tuvalu

Education in Tuvalu is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15 years. Each island has a primary school. Motufoua Secondary School is located on Vaitupu. Students board at the school during the school term, returning to their home islands each school vacation. Fetuvalu High School, a day school operated by the Church of Tuvalu, is on Funafuti.

Fetuvalu offers the Cambridge syllabus. Motufoua offers the Fiji Junior Certificate (FJC) at year 10, Tuvaluan Certificate at Year 11 and the Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate (PSSC) at Year 12, set by the Fiji-based exam board SPBEA. Sixth form students who pass their PSSC go on to the Augmented Foundation Programme, funded by the government of Tuvalu. This program is required for tertiary education programmes outside of Tuvalu and is available at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Extension Centre in Funafuti.

Required attendance at school is 10 years for males and 11 years for females (2001). The adult literacy rate is 99.0% (2002). In 2010, there were 1,918 students who were taught by 109 teachers (98 certified and 11 uncertified). The teacher-pupil ratio for primary schools in Tuvalu is around 1:18 for all schools with the exception of Nauti School, which has a teacher-student ratio of 1:27. Nauti School on Funafuti is the largest primary in Tuvalu with more than 900 students (45 percent of the total primary school enrolment). The pupil-teacher ratio for Tuvalu is low compared to the Pacific region (ratio of 1:29).

Community Training Centres (CTCs) have been established within the primary schools on each atoll. The CTCs provide vocational training to students who do not progress beyond Class 8 because they failed the entry qualifications for secondary education. The CTCs offer training in basic carpentry, gardening and farming, sewing and cooking. At the end of their studies the graduates can apply to continue studies either at Motufoua Secondary School or the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute (TMTI). Adults can also attend courses at the CTCs.
The Tuvaluan Employment Ordinance of 1966 sets the minimum age for paid employment at 14 years and prohibits children under the age of 15 from performing hazardous work.

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