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Part 1 Descriptive Sections

Introduction.

Niue is a beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean. It is known to be the largest coral island in the world [approximately 260 km2] with a circumference of 64km of road. The island is an estimated 19km from north to south Niue is isolated, situated between Tonga and Samoa, and is a self-governing state [in association with New Zealand] In 1997 the population numbered 2088 people, 35% of which lived in the capital town of Alofi. Niueans are New Zealand citizens and consequently have free access to New Zealand. The 1996 census showed that 18,474 Niueans live in New Zealand. The dwindling population of Niue is a major concern as more islanders emigrate in search of what is perceived to be a better standard of living.

There is one primary school on the island, one secondary school and one early childhood education facility.

Niue islanders grow their own food crops. Taro is the main export crop and there is also a thriving handicrafts industry.

With the spectacular and diverse scenery and activities that Niue has to offer the tourist industry is slowly improving. However, only one flight a week is scheduled to Niue and this is not condusive to the faster life of the main tourism circuit.

Description of review process:

The report is a collective work done by the Education Department with associated Government, non-Government and the public agencies.

The Education for All (EFA) Assessment 2000 Co-ordinator and the committee was selected in February 1999. The process was quite difficult because there are only a few people left to commit their time to the exercise. There was also the problem of people being overburdened with commitments to several projects. A team was formed of the following personnel:

Kupa Magatogia Director of Education

Margaret Limatoa Statistics Unit

Gloria Talagi Planning Unit

Roberta Sionesini UNESCO National Secretary

John Faitala Administration Department

Janet Tasmania Principal. Primary School

Sunlou Freddie National In country training

Martin Greentree Secondary School

Data has been collected from the only primary school, the Statistics Department, Planning Unit and Department of Education. Particular effort has been made to gather the data required from the past ten years.

Assistance was given by UNESCO during a visit by the Director of the Office for the Pacific. Special thanks to Mrs Celia Barelle for help with the working of this report.Two Pacific EFA workshops in June and August also provided necessary guidance with content and writing.

1.EFA Goals and Targets

The broad educational philosophy is that the highest standard of achievement is reached through programmes which enable all students to realise their full potential as individuals and to develop the values needed to become full members of Niue’s society. The basic learning needs identified are literacy, numeracy, life skills, and spiritual and basic human rights.

No specific EFA targets were set in 1990. The following targets guided the decades work for education

1.1 Early Childhood Development

To provide the facility for Early Childhood Development for children of the age of four.

To facilitate growth in all areas of the child’s development-socially, emotionally,

physically, cognitively and culturally.

To support the quality of family life, respecting the uniqueness of each family’s

composition and cultural background.

To provide a meeting ground for parents and families where people feel acceptance,

understanding and support.

To advocate for Early Childhood Education and encourage the wider community

to become involved in this process.

To review and strengthen the professional performance of teachers and curriculum in the Early Childhood area.

1.2 Primary

To provide three years of Junior and three years of Senior Primary schooling and

two years of Junior and up to four years of Senior Secondary schooling

To provide a broad education through a balanced curriculum covering essential learning areas with high levels of competence in basic literacy and numeracy, science and technology in the primary and secondary schools.

1.3 Learning Achievement.

To provide equality of educational opportunity for all, by identifying and removing barriers to achievement.

To allow access for students to nationally and internationally recognised qualification systems to encourage a high level of participation in post-secondary school education.

To develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to compete successfully in the modern, ever-changing world.

To provide a sound foundation in the early years for future learning and achievement through programmes which include support for parents in their vital role as their children’s first teachers.

To achieve excellence through the establishment of clear learning objectives, monitoring student performance against those objectives and providing programmes to meet individual needs.

1.4 Adult Literacy

To raise the public awareness of the value of books and reading.

1.5 Educational Training Skills

To provide opportunities for success in learning for those with special needs by ensuring that they are identified and receive appropriate support.

To increase participation and success by all, through the advancement of education initiatives, including education in the Niuean language and culture.

To initiate the expansion of provision of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults with programme effectiveness assessed in terms of behavioural changes and impacts on health, employment and productivity.

1.6 Education for Better Living

To develop human resources to a level which will meet Niues economic aspirations.

To respect the diverse ethnic and cultural heritage of the Niuean people, with acknowledgement of the unique role of Niue, both in the Pacific and as a member of the international community.

To ensure that the cultural traditions of Niue are respected and fostered.

To increase the acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living and sound, sustainable development. Information conveyed through all education channels, including mass media, and other forms of modern and traditional communication with effectiveness assessed in terms of behavioural change.

2. EFA plan of action

The Government Cabinet Ministers, SOG, HODs, Managers of Corporations, and NGOs, decide the development plan for the country. All the above sectors hold a summit type of consultation for ‘brainstorming of ideas’ for two or three days.

Figure 1

Government Cabinet Ministers

Head of Departments

NGOs

Heads of department and managers oversee staff and community target groups (youth, women’s, and church groups), who monitor progress.

The main target groups are:

Early Childhood Primary

Secondary Tertiary

Youth: Women

Adult Church groups

Education reforms have been put in place several times depending on the economy of the country. Corporate plans are reviewed yearly.

3. EFA Decision-making and Management

The government of the day has the platform for policy framework. The Minister for Education sets up the policy, which has to be implemented by the Director of Education, the principals and teachers. The Director advises the Minister of issues within the department. Each school has a constitution; the school committee is the supporting body for the school, but the school committees are not involved in the academic school programmes nor the employment of teachers.

Figure 2

Minister
Director
Principals
EMT
Teachers
School committees /Parents

4. Co-operation in EFA

The Department of Education provides the basic education services and is financed mainly by the local government. Religious institutions, community groups and individuals support education and fundraising activities. The UN agencies, regional bodies and bilateral donors who work closely with the government to help support and implement the policies are UNESCO, UNDP, NZODA, FAO, WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, SPC, AusAID, German government, French government, SPREP, SOPAC, FORUM SEC, Japanese government, US government, and Chinese government.

5. Investment in EFA since 1990

In 1990 the public expenditure on education was $1241416, of this $350968 or 28.2% was spent on primary education. In 1998 the education budget was $1190386. 24.3 % or $288774 being spent in the primary sector. The reduction in the budget is related to the declining population of Niue. Financial assistance is also given by UNESCO, UNDP, NZODA, FAO, WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, SPC, AusAID, Peace Corps,German government, French government, SPREP, SOPAC, FORUM SEC, Japanese government, US government, and Chinese government.


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