Samoa Non-Formal Education Policy Drafted
Work on developing a policy for non-formal education (NFE) in Samoa began in 2005 but there were many challenges and areas that needed to be clarified before a policy could be realised. The NFE sub-sector was adamant that developing a policy for NFE would lead to the formalization of the NFE sector and the regulation of programmes. These issues required careful consideration to ensure that the policy did not act as a deterrent to the responsiveness of the NFE sub-sector in addressing the diverse learning needs of communities. In addition, NFE needed to retain its special characteristics in complementing the formal education system and community based initiatives in Samoa. It was decided that the development of a NFE policy should not jeopardize the flexibility of existing or future programmes.
In 2005, a study on the status of NFE was conducted and in 2007 the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture in Samoa (MESC) produced a second discussion paper based on the results of the situational analysis. The discussion paper was not taken forward when the Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) was tasked with the responsibility for the development of quality assurance practices for NFE providers and the role of MESC was not clear cut in relation to its’ role and responsibilities for NFE.
UNESCO convened a Workshop in 2011 on ‘Developing Community Based Education with the Principles and Values of Education for Sustainable Development’. The workshop explored strategies for the development of an NFE framework, the potential for promoting community-based NFE delivery mechanisms such as Community Learning Centres and the facilitation of other NFE strategies. One of the outcomes of the Workshop was for MESC to facilitate the preparation of an updated situational analysis and the formulation of an NFE policy with support from UNESCO. The situational analysis was updated in 2011, and development of the Samoa NFE Policy followed.
After consultations in 2013, the Draft Samoa Non-Formal Education Policy is in place.
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