School of Education and IOE strengthens collaborations
The School of Education (SOED) and the Institute of Education (IOE) met on 21st and 22nd July, 2017 to discuss closer collaboration and the way forward in terms of sharing a collective vision for educational development for the Pacific Region. In attendance were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and International, Professor Derrick Armstrong; the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, Dr Akanisi Kedrayate; the Head of School of Education, Professor Govinda Lingam; Professor of Pacific Education, Konai Thaman; Director of the Institute of Education, Dr Seu’ula Johansson-Fua and other members of the SOED and IOE staff.
In welcoming the staff, Professor Govinda Lingam stated that such a meeting was long overdue and the coming together of staff from SOED and IOE is a step in the right direction towards accomplishing major tasks in education in the Region. Over the two days, staff from the IOE and the SOED engaged in a think-tank process to brainstorm the outcomes that they would like to achieve and identify the various areas of expertise that were available to be shared through a committed collaboration. The discussions were outcomes-focused; and using this approach the two entities began to define their strategic operational and functional roles.
The working party addressed the following questions that they felt that were important for re-conceptualizing educational development in the Region:
- What is the combined role of the SOED and the IOE as leaders of education in the region?
- In what ways does community knowledge inform the pedagogical practices of the SOED and IOE?
- What are the underpinning transformational approaches that are required to support development, inclusion, diversity, equity and relevancy in education?
The agreed outcomes for focus include: employability with particular reference to entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurship; mobility of teachers; accessibility to quality education; local, regional and international benchmarking of programs; use of ICT as a tool to effect change; sustainable, inclusive, and equitable education for all. It was felt that some of the areas discussed could help in developing a working document that could feed into the University’s new Strategic Plan. The discussions also addressed areas identified by the SOED staff that could strengthen its teacher education programmes and some areas which the SOED/IOE could target that would bring about improvement in education in the Region.
In concluding Professor Govinda Lingam said that, “This was a fruitful two-day meeting and regular meetings would be planned to capitalise on our combined skills and areas of expertise. In this, we could play a true leadership role education in the Region”.