Participants at Regional Symposium on Early Childhood Education & Care.
The Pacific Regional Education Framework (Pac REF) promotes a human rights approach to education, a Regional Symposium on Early Childhood Education & Care in Nadi was informed.
During his presentation on day one of the symposium at the Tanoa International Hotel, Mr Filipe Jitoko, Coordinator PacREF at USP mentioned that the Framework recognises the disadvantages faced by some groups and communities in accessing opportunities to education.
Participants were told that the Framework aligns with the Framework for Pacific Regionalism (FPR); the 2012 Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration (PLGED); the Pacific Framework for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2016-2025 (PFRPD); the Pacific Regional Inclusive Education (PRIEF) and Sustainable Development Goals. (SDG4)
According to Mr Jitoko, PacREF has four Policy Areas namely Quality & Relevance; Learning Pathways; Teacher Professionalism and Student Outcomes & Wellbeing.
He noted that under the four Policy Areas there are a total of 16 outputs including continuous assessment of student learning, providing data to enable the shaping of lessons and programmes to address identified gaps in subject mastery; and TVET programmes to be industry responsive.
“Over a three-phased twelve-year period, PacREF’s objectives are to raise the quality of education; enhance learner’s education outcomes and ensure that graduates are of high quality,” he explained.
He added that with regards to the mechanism for implementation, collaboration and cooperation among national education systems and regional institutions are critical to the success of PacREF.
“We are still very much in the infancy stage of developing the indicators and we hope this can be done by November next year,” Mr Jitoko stated.
Dr Lavinia Tiko, Senior Lecturer, in her earlier keynote, spoke on The Pasifika child in the context of inclusive & quality teacher education reforms.
She said that one of the key targets of SDG 4 is to ensure that by 2030 all children have access to quality early childhood education and care and are better prepared for primary education.
In addition, SDG 4 clearly identifies the need to substantially increase the number of qualified teachers at the pre-primary level, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially the least developed countries and small island developing states.
This she said is crucial to achieving long-term sustainable development across the Pacific “by improving quality of life and access to inclusive education from the beginning to equip our future generation with the knowledge and skills needed to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems”.
“Therefore, a focus on early childhood education and care is essential to ensure the foundations are well and truly there to successfully launch these young learners on their future educational journey,” she added.
The three-day symposium organised by USP’s School of Education
(SOEd) and Monash University is a platform for participants to further build on the work carried out by UNESCO, with respect to ECEC Teacher Competency Framework.
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