Students Watched As Dormitory Turned Into Ashes

STAFF and students at Navele Junior Secondary School situated in Santo, Vanuatu were shocked to see a boy’s dormitory turned into ashes within less than an hour.

The dormitory constructed with local materials was on fire when all students were on their normal night study schedule at around 7PM on the 26th of May 2014. The classrooms were located few meters away from the dormitories.

No life was lost except four (4) students that sustained minor burns during the rescue attempts.

Staff and students managed to save a few items but all attempts to save more stuff were hindered by the blazing heat from the fire. Flames did not catch other buildings in the vicinity.

Students were shocked at seeing their belongings immediately turned from treasured possessions to flames before their eyes.

Some students left school after the incident, but the rest are being encouraged to stay on.

ACoM Education Secretary in Vanuatu, Mr. Abraham Eldads said; the boys are currently using one classroom as a dormitory but it is really overcrowded.

He said ACOM Provincial office in Vanuatu and Sanma Provincial Government and other line Departments such as Health, Education, and Red Cross. Other bodies with the Anglican Church and individuals in Luganville have kindly donated a few items to the school.

A fundraising drive was organized by Sanma Provincial Office and ACOM to raise funds to meet some of the immediate needs of students.

“We may be able to replace some of the lost items locally and have the dormitory rebuilt by the local community but I am here appealing to anyone or organization who may be willing to assist us with our future plan for this school.” Mr.Eldads said.

He said, “Our long term needs are: a permanent dormitory and a reliable solar system. Anyone who is interested and is willing to assist us with this need should contact the ACOM Vanuatu Education Secretary using this contact information: or The Education Secretary, Provincial Office, PO Box 212, Luganville, Santo, Vanuatu.”

ACOM Vanuatu Education Office wishes to acknowledge and thank all who have positively responded to the appeal for assistance. We have identified two separate needs; one is the immediate replacement of students’ personal items and a local dormitory and secondly, a more permanent accommodation facility and a reliable and efficient solar system that would provide power for the school.

Navele Junior Secondary School is a coeducational boarding institution with just over a hundred students administered by ACOM Vanuatu Education Authority but it also receives some financial assistance from the government.  It is situated in Big Bay Bush by Jordan River bank, on the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, about three hours’ drive from Luganville.  The school has an outstanding students’ academic performance record at year eight and ten levels although it has only been offering year ten program for the last two years and had only missionary teachers (local staff who have not attained any formal teaching qualifications but are very dedicated and hardworking). The school has been enjoying its normal and typical Vanuatu school life until disaster struck on the night of May 26.


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