Collaboration to align culture and education in Pacific


The Institute of Education-USP looks forward to collaborate with SPC’s Culture for Development at the Human Rights and Social Development Division in supporting the mainstreaming of culture, local languages and arts in education, says IoE Director Dr Seu’ula Johansson-Fua.

This was after the academics from the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Culture for Development team of the Pacific Community (SPC) held a meeting to discuss the alignment of the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) and the Pacific Regional Culture Strategy (PRCS) and explore opportunities for collaboration between culture and education.

Dr Seu’ula Johansson-Fua said the Institute’s Waka Moana Publication programme could support the Pacific regional culture strategy with the ongoing work that is being done in the provision of textbooks and resources for the teaching of culture, local languages, and the arts at primary school level.

The meeting was aimed at better understanding the specific programs of work that relate to culture and which may be aligned with the implementation of the PRCS.

As institutional custodian of the PRCS, SPC, through its HRSD Division, is hosting a series of discussions with Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) and international agencies to facilitate the implementation of the PRCS, which has a 10-year lifespan and will take place in two five-year phases.

During the meeting, the group lauded the successful collaborative intervention at the recent Conference of Pacific Education Ministers, which saw the endorsement of Indigenous Knowledge, Culture, and Language. This move is expected to pave the way for greater integration of culture and education in the Pacific region.

“We welcome this partnership, as it will broaden our partnership to work closely with experts in the area of culture development and Pacific languages.

“A key outcome for us (IoE) is the opportunity to identify other regional agencies (who are also working in culture, Pacific languages and knowledge systems) – and opportunities for future collaboration,” Dr Seu’ula Johansson-Fua said.

Following the meeting, the group agreed to meet twice a year to continue the collaboration between culture and education in the region.

The alignment of PacREF and PRCS, and the collaboration between culture and education, is expected to have a positive impact on the Pacific region by promoting greater understanding and appreciation of Pacific cultures, as well as improving the quality of education and enhancing the cultural identity of Pacific communities.

From left: Acting Head of School SPACE, USP, Dr Matthew Hayward and Director of the Institute of Education, Dr Seu’ula Johansson-Fua. Picture: Pacific Community (SPC)
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