Conference of Pacific Education Ministers to identify areas of action in the education sector

Source: Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Islands Forum Education leaders, senior government officials, development partners, civil society organisations, policymakers, students, and educators will meet at the 1st Conference of Pacific Education Ministers (CPEM) on 20–22 March 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand, to discuss key education challenges within the region and how the region is progressing towards the goals of the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) and 2030 Agenda.

The Conference, with the theme ‘Empowering Education for Pacific People,” also seeks to mobilise resources to address some of the Pacific’s most pressing education challenges due to the impact of globalization and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The discussions will focus on sub-themes, including quality and relevance, education financing, building resiliency, education access, inclusivity, and equity.

These themes are specifically chosen to focus discussions around skills-based training and TVET, maintenance of culture and language, Pacific indigenous knowledge and pedagogies, non-cognitive skills, regional education financing and governance, building resilient education systems and teaching for inclusion and equity.

“The Conference of Pacific Education Ministers (CPEM) brings together education stakeholders in the region to discuss emerging issues impacting the region, such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technologies, connectivity, and social media, which directly impact the lives of Pacific children and influence their behaviour and lifestyles. Therefore, it is important for the education sector in the region to discuss ways to respond as a region to these issues,” said PacREF Facilitating Unit (PFU) Coordinator, Mr Filipe Jitoko.

He added that this would be the first-time where other stakeholders such as civil societies, teachers, and students would be part of the CPEM, and their contribution to the roundtable discussions would be greatly welcomed, especially since they are important stakeholders in steering education forward for the region.

“The conference will be an opportunity to share knowledge and good practices globally and regionally, identify areas for collaboration and explore innovative approaches in education that member countries can learn from as they develop their education systems to deliver educational programmes that empowers people of the Pacific to make their own decisions regarding their future,” Mr Jitoko said.

The University of the South Pacific jointly organises the CPEM through the PacREF Facilitating Unit (PFU) with the Government of New Zealand. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is the lead agency of this year’s CPEM.

Following the successful virtual meeting in 2021, this year’s CPEM will be held in a hybrid format for the first time, with Ministers of Education invited to take part in the physical meeting in Auckland, while those who are unable to travel to New Zealand will participate virtually via an online platform. 

For more information, please contact:

Kelera Serelini -Varawa, PacREF Facilitating Unit (PFU), Tel: +679 2729060,

23 January 2023


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