Workshop on principal standard in Samoa © UNESCO Apia

Quality education for all in the Pacific

UNESCO Office for the Pacific States covers 16 Member States and one Associate Member in the region and the Education Sector currently has programmes and projects in about half of these. The Education Sector is working towards developing lifelong learning for all through a variety of approaches. These include both formal and non-formal education, developing and improving monitoring and evaluation systems, strengthening capacities of countries to develop policies and practices that support better educational outcomes and supporting the concept of learning occurring in multiple settings and at any time throughout life. Continued emphasis is placed on the importance of quality learning including learning processes, learning environments and learning outcomes in education. UNESCO works towards these through its programmes and projects funded both by regular programme and extrabudgetary funding.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programmes are implemented in Niue and Palau under the regular programme funds. In Niue, the Vagahau Niue (Niuean language) Curriculum document is being developed and ESD directory book has been completed and distributed to schools, related Ministries/Agencies/Offices and ESD practitioners in Palau. Work is also currently underway on completing the Education for All (EFA) 2015 Review final reports.  Five countries have submitted these and four others are close to completion. A Pacific sub-regional EFA 2015 Review will be produced in collaboration with UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in 2015.

Funds from Australian DFAT are currently supporting two programmes in Kiribati, one relating to strengthening the Kiribati Education Management Information System and the other is developing year 3 and 4 curriculum materials for better teaching and learning. 

Funds from Japan Funds-in-Trust are supporting the Education Sector in projects in four countries; Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The primary purpose of these projects is to strength National capacities to develop and implement teacher and principal policies with the aim of enhancing the quality of the education students receive. Many Pacific Island Countries are concerned about continuing low levels of student achievement and this project is designed to address this issue across the education sector. This project covers both in-service teacher training (in the Solomon Islands and Samoa) and developing leadership standards for school principals which will have an overall benefit in lifting the quality of education in schools by improving and developing good school leaders.

Extrabudgetary funds which include UNAIDS funding support the HIV/AIDS Education programme which is focuses on strengthening comprehensive sexuality education. Work is underway with Nauru, Niue, Palau and Samoa with a joint approach being taken to include four more countries, in collaboration with UNFPA and UNICEF.

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