Grant to boost Pacific education

The Global Partnership for Education (G.P.E.) has approved $20.5 million in new grants for eight Pacific countries including Samoa to improve their basic education.

The regional grant to transform Pacific education follows the recent approval of USD $15 million in grant money to the education partnership under the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF).  

The announcement was made by the Global Partnership for Education on its official website.   

G.P.E. announced grants totalling USD$20.5 million made to eight eligible Pacific countries. 

Six recipients including Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu, have agreed to have their country allocations of USD $2.5 million  directed to the PacREF, sharing their contribution with all 15 Pacific countries who make up the partnership.  

The unique funding arrangement proposed by the PacREF partnership. The  Pacific Community’s Educational Quality and Assessment Programme is an implementing agency.

E.Q.A.P.’s director, Dr. Michelle Belisle welcomed the G.P.E.’s decision to boost its education funding efforts in the Pacific.

“The G.P.E. funding is a welcome investment into regional education priorities,” she said in a statement issued via the Pacific Community (S.P.C.).   

Dr. Belisle also commended the collective wisdom of the six countries’ leadership to pool the grants for the benefit of all students in the Pacific.

She said that the regional effort across the countries and agencies involved demonstrates the success that can be achieved by regional cooperation. 

The PacREF Unit coordinator Filipe Jitoko similarly spoke of how regionalism has proven effective in education.

“Countries have come together and put in resources to support a regional mechanism to effectively and efficiently provide teacher training education in the case of U.S.P. (the University of the South Pacific),” he said. 

He said that these are areas in which countries lack the expertise or resources to establish their own institutions.

The PacREF agenda was adopted by the Pacific Islands Forum Education Ministers  in 2018.

It  focuses on four key policy areas: quality and relevance, learning pathways, student outcomes and wellbeing, and teacher professionalism. 

Its programme of activities is spread over 12 years and spread across three phases. 

The first phase will largely be funded from the GPE funds. 

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