Funding for Samoa's education sector unveiled
A joint funding agreement between the Governments of Samoa, Australia and New Zealand will improve educational outcomes for Samoan students.
This was highlighted in a joint media release from the three Governments issued through the Press Secretariat.
According to the statement, it stated that the Government of Australia is contributing AUD $13 million while the New Zealand Government is contributing NZD $11 million.
It is for the next phase of the Education Sector Support Programme (E.S.S.P.) for 2020 to 2024.
The aim is to enhance the quality of education and training, and increase rates of participation in education and training opportunities in Samoa.
This is to also build on the existing agreement which supported long term improvements in education outcomes by upgrading teacher qualifications, providing innovative models for teacher in-service training, supporting implementation of Minimum Service Standards, and upskilling Technical and Vocational Education and Training (T.V.E.T.) trainers.
The E.S.S.P. will be implemented through the Government of Samoa’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture; the National University of Samoa; and the Samoa Qualifications Authority.
An expanded focus of the E.S.S.P. includes education information systems as a tool for remote teaching and learning as a response to COVID-19, and the provision of technical assistance at strategic and school level.
The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti acknowledged the support from both the Governments of Australia and New Zealand.
He also noted the alignment with key priorities of the sector as articulated in the new Education Sector Plan - this is also closely linked to the national priorities as reflected in the national development strategy and the financing framework outlined in the Budget.
The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty relayed that a healthy, educated community will be crucial to Samoa’s economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.
“Australia's investment in education, in partnership with Samoa and New Zealand, will enable all children including those with a disability, to gain the skills they need to obtain work or go on to further study and to lead productive lives,” Ms. Moriarty said.
Furthermore, Dr. Trevor Matheson, New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa added that working together — particularly against the backdrop of the global impact of COVID-19 — will help Samoa improve capacity and realise its goals for the education sector.
“The signing of this joint funding agreement is an important achievement in our shared and ongoing commitment to supporting and further developing skills, knowledge and learning opportunities in Samoa,” Dr. Matheson said.