AFD and NUV Strengthen Digital Services with extension of the DIRECCT project

Noumea, 25 October 2023 – Last week, in parallel of the Forum de la Francophonie, Jean Pierre Nirua, National University of Vanuatu Vice-Chancellor and Virgnie Bleitrach, AFD Regional Director Pacific Ocean, met to expand the scope of an existing Funding Agreement between the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the National University of Vanuatu (NUV).

The signing of this document extends to 2024 the DIgital REsponse Connecting CiTizens project (DIRECCT) initiated in Vanuatu since 2022. DIRECCT is a worldwide program aimed at building digital resilience to prevent future health and environmental crises program supported by l’Organisation des États d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (OEACP), funded by the European Union and implemented by the AFD.

Locally, this project is a collaborative effort between NUV and its School of Education (SOE), the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT), and the Vanuatu Agricultural College in Santo (VAC) to enhance the connectivity and digital services for their students and lecturers.

The extension of the program now brings additional digital services for students  in 2024.

Outdoor access points in farès* powered by solar energy will be established, allowing students to work outside their classrooms in connected farès*. This initiative supports flexible learning environments and encourages students to engage in their studies in inspiring outdoor settings, protected from the sun and rain.

In addition the agreement includes provisions for the purchase of laptops and tablets that students will be able to borrow when conducting research and field surveys. This initiative aims to make information and research tools more accessible to students, allowing them to gather data and conduct academic work more efficiently.

Océane Rosalie Lukai, in her final year of a master’s degree in economics and social sciences at NUV, uses her mobile plan to access the Internet or goes to the university’s main campus. When asked about the University’s new services, she was delighted: “Today, to work outside of class hours, I try to find a bench on campus or a place in the only computer room we had, But it’s not always easy because it’s often busy for classes. The farés will help the students a lot because we will have a place that is accessible all the time to work. Also, I don’t have a tablet to do my surveys so if I can borrow one it will save me time”.

Those services complete the DIRECCT outcomes already in motion: the establishment of five fully equipped computer labs with video conferencing systems and photocopiers at the main campus of NUV, SOE, VIT and VAC; the implementation of an information system for student registration and management connected to the Moodle e-learning platform; the organisation of a comprehensive training program on the use of the Moodle e-learning platform to promote more collaborative teaching through interactive and inclusive educational tools.

These new services highlight once again the university’s commitment to expanding access to digital services and offering more environmentally friendly solutions to support the education of the new generations.

*farés: refers to traditional Melanesian hut or house build on timber and natangura thatched roof.

Find more about DIRECCT:

  • Eric Mounier:
  • Daniel Silas, NUV System & Network Administrator and Coordinator of DIRECCT in Vanuatu.
  • More information on DIRECCT program in Vanuatu and around the world