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PART II Analytic Sections (Covering the decade 1991-1999)

6. Progress toward Goals and Targets [1991-1999]

Through the commitments the Government has made to international conventions and declarations, in particular those outlined below, the Government has also recognized the following national goals in relation to education.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Niue ratified the CRC on December 1st 1995,thereby, making a commitment to the child’s right to education. Article 28 of CRC establishes that right. Education is recognised to be essential for all children. The article stresses the right must be achieved on the basis of equal opportunity". This in summary includes:

International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)

Niue endorsed the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in September 1994. As such, the Government pledged:

Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Niue acceded to the CEDAW in [date]. By doing so, the Government acknowledges the strategic objectives contained within CEDAW relating to the elimination of gender discrimination against girls and women. These include:

Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development

Niue was a signatory to 1995 Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and thereby, pledged their commitment to the rights and goals relating to education that are contained in this declaration. In summary these are:

Progress towards goals and targets

Education levels are a key indicator of the development and quality of life in any country. Education plays an important role in development through its connections, demographic as well as economic, and social aspects. For example there is a close connection between education, fertility, motility and mobility. When mothers are better educated they tend to have fewer children. Their children’s health status improves and their survival rates are likely to increase. Higher levels of educational attainment also contribute to better qualified labour forces and better economic performance, in comparison with the majority of people who had little or no formal education and training.

Plans or documents reviewed or implemented since 1990:

1989:"Educating the Niue of Tomorrow" document: plan to amalgate eight schools

1990:Amalgamation of schools to form one national primary school

1991:Compulsory redundancy of teachers

1993Implementation of Basic Education Life Skills (BELS) programme at Primary school

1994:Government approval for Niue High School to adopt New Zealand Curriculum

1995:Establishment of In-country Training

1996: Introduction of Child Allowance benefit for all children up to the age of 18

1997:

Meetings with each village community on education policies

Change of criteria for F7 scholarship eligibility (total Sixth Form

certificate grades to qualify for scholarship reduced from 21 to 18)

Education Department initiated Extension Foundation courses for Form 6 students through USP-Niue office

Basic Education and Literacy skills were introduced

Introduction of EMT to the secondary school management structure

Pre-service attachment of Primary School teachers

Niue schools join the UNESCO ASP Project scheme

Implementation of Health Promoting Schools Project

NZODA project: Professional Development and Support Resources [1997- 2001

1998:

Impact surveys of BELS programme to monitor progress. Further change of grading criteria for F7 scholarship grades (total SFC qualifying grades reduced from 18 to 16)Compulsory school-leaving age changed from 14 to 16 yrs

Joint Scholarship Scheme

Launching of Conventions for the Rights of a Child

Increase in Child Allowance benefit

Introduction of EMT to the Niue Primary School management structure

BCT Employment Scheme

1999

NZODA project – upskilling and upgrading of physical and human

resources

Interim agreement with the New Zealand Government for Niue High School to continue its progress on the Accreditation document

6.1 Early Childhood Education

Target: To formalise Early Childhood Education policies by year 2000, focusing on the four areas needed for the development of a child: Empowerment, Holistic and Community Development and Relationships.

Indicator 1

This indicator measures the general level of participation of young children in early childhood development programmes. It also indicates Niue’s capacity to prepare young children for primary education. It shows gross enrolment in early childhood development programmes, including public programmes expressed as a percentage of the official age-group which is children aged 4.

1998 Early Childhood Gross Enrolment Ratio

Table 1

1998

Enrolment

Official

age-gp

GER

(Gross

Gender Parity

Total

Pre-schools

Others

popn (4 years)

enrolment ratio)

Index

TOTAL (MF)

54

54

54

100.0

1.0

Male (M)

25

25

25

100.0

Female (F)

29

29

29

100.0

Source : Department of Education. Department of Justice

1991-1998 Early Childhood Gross Enrolment Ratios

 Table 2

Year

Male roll

Female roll

TOTAL ROLL

Official 4 yr old pop

GER

Gender

Parity

1991

28

27

55

55

100

1.00

1992

32

29

61

61

100

1.00

1993

42

33

75

75

100

1.00

1994

37

32

69

69

100

1.00

1995

33

38

71

71

100

1.00

1996

31

28

59

59

100

1.00

1997

33

24

57

57

100

1.00

1998

25

29

54

54

100

1.00

Sources : Department of Education. Department of Justice

A Gross Enrolment ratio of 100 has been maintained from 1990 to 1998 with a gender parity of 1.00 indicating universal access to early childhood education. The high gross enrolment ratio in early childhood development programmes indicates Niue’s adequate capacity for this type of programme. This is mainly due to public awareness and introduction of formal Early Childhood Education. The government and the community of Niue recognises the importance of an early, solid grounding in education and the benefits to the primary system and is fully committed to this area of education.

Graph 1

Source : Department of Education

The variations in annual enrolments are mainly due to migration and varying birth rates. During the last decade there have been the following positive outcomes in Early Childhood Education emphasising the goals and targets set at the beginning of the decade.

This indicator assesses the proportion of Year 1 students who have received preparation for primary schooling through ECD programmes.

Table 3.

1998

New entrants to Grade 1

NEs with ECD experience

% ECD exp

Total

Public

Private

Total

Public

Private

Total

Public

TOTAL (MF)

41

41

0

41

41

0

100.0

100.0

Male (M)

27

27

0

27

27

0

100.0

100.0

Female (F)

14

14

0

14

14

0

100.0

100.0

Source : Department of Education

New entrants to primary year 1 who have attended ECE

Table 4

Year

New entrants to

New entrants to

% new entrants to

Primary Grade 1

Primary Grade 1

that attended ECE

Primary Yr 1 that

attended ECE

1991

59

59

100%

1992

75

75

100%

1993

65

65

100%

1994

84

84

100%

1995

66

66

100%

1996

40

40

100%

1997

39

39

100%

1998

41

41

100%

Source: Department of Education

The chart shows the number of new entrants to primary Year I who have attended some form of early childhood development programme equivalent to 120 hours. The percentage of new entrants to Grade 1 who have attended early childhood education has been maintained at 100% from 1990 to 1998 for both males and females.

It is commonly recognised that participation in ECE programmes plays an important role in a child’s future education, because it shapes attitudes toward learning and develops basic social skills. The effect of ECE activities on children’s cognitive development varies according to the programme.

Some of the differences in enrolment at Year 1 between 1990 and 1998 noted on the data above are due to:

a) decline of total numbers:

  1. migration, especially to New Zealand.
  2. ECE’s four-term intake policy, and twice-yearly promotion. This enrolment policy applies from ECE to Year 1
  3. low birth rates
  1. discrepancies in numbers between Table 4 and Table 2 and Graph 1
  1. reflects family movement in to Niue

2) some children moved in to Grade 1 during the year

The centralisation of ECE has made things easier. However, as for Indicator 1, the main challenge ahead is formalising ECE policy. It is also hoped that more training development opportunities will be made available for mother helpers.

Mother helpers were given the opportunity to study through the USP Center.

One of Niue’s foci, consistent with the formalisation of ECE for the future, is to continue training development for mother helpers.



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