Pacific Heads of Education Meeting
Regional Education Meeting in Palau
The Pacific Heads of Education Systems (PHES) began their 18th consultation meeting in the Republic of Palau today, 23 August 2011. This is the first time the meeting has been held in the Northern Pacific. The 2009 Forum Education Ministers meeting in Tonga agreed that the PHES should to continue to meet and discuss the agenda for FEdMM. Countries currently represented at the meeting are Cook Islands, FSM, Nauru, Niue, Palau, RMI, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu.
Opening the consultation meeting, His Excellency the President of Palau Johnson Toribiong, expressed his country’s appreciation to the organizers for allowing the meeting to be held in the Northern Pacific. President Toribiong further stated that education is at the top of Palau’s priority as they, like other countries in the region, face huge challenges in regards to climate change, health issues and economic development. The meeting organizers were assured by the President of his support towards the meeting and the provision of any assistance if required.
The development partners present at the meeting include PIFS, PREL, SPBEA/SPC, UNESCO, UNICEF and USP. The Palau Ministry of Education gathered sufficient funds to hold the meeting in the Northern Pacific with substantial funding sources from UNESCO through the Participation Programme and its office in Apia, PREL, PIFS and the Embassy of the Spanish Government and from its own government sources.
During the meeting the PHES will hear presentations from the regional agencies and development partners with updates on regional projects that are being developed and implemented in the region as mandated by the Forum Education Ministers. These include updates on the development of the Pacific Qualifications Register, a report of the results of the Feasibility Study by UNESCO on the proposal to establish a sustainable mechanism for training education planners and policy makers in FICs, Status of the Benchmarking of Literacy, Numeracy, and Life Skills Assessment, Update on the Baseline Survey of the Pacific Education Development Framework (PEDF) and a proposal from AusAID on the development and improvement of Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) in the region.
The PHES are expected to bring to the meeting issues and challenges they face in the development of education in their own countries for the consideration of support from development partners in the region. The meeting will also consider issues to be brought to the attention of the Forum Education Ministers in their next meeting which is scheduled for May 2012 in Vanuatu.
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