THE Conference of Pacific Education Ministers (CPEM) provides opportunities and direction for IoE to do what it does, affirming the institute’s mandate to provide optimum support where needed for the ministries of Education across the region, says IoE’s Fellow in Curriculum and Literacy, Ana Heti Veikune.
The conference with the theme ‘Empowering Education for Pacific People’ was hosted by the Government of New Zealand and was jointly organized by New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and USP through the PacREF Facilitating Unit (PFU).
“IoE strives to ground its work in the unique contexts it works in and believes each ministry and country has unique needs and requirements and is given the individual attention it needs,” Ms Veikune said.
“CPEM celebrates our similarities in educational successes and challenges yet acknowledges that these two extremes may look different in each context.”
She said CPEM allowed the sharing of data, information, knowledge systems that impacted IoE’s work and IoE appreciated the frank sharing of common aspects of education in the countries it worked in.
“CPEM is a great way to bring together partners who, until this week, had only met via Zoom. The negotiations/ meetings outside the program proper were probably just as productive as the main events. IoE appreciates that space provided for us.”
She added the highlight of the conference was the elevation of interest in uplifting and strengthening activities around Pacific vernacular languages, cultures, our cultural capital and knowledge, our ways of knowing and being.
“I look forward to the heightened attention given to the policies, resourcing, funding, and the resultant activities that will be conceived, planned, implemented, and eventually evaluated.
“It means the Pacific region can say, because of the convictions we hold at the time, based on data, research, knowledge of the context in terms of the social, cultural, environmental challenges we are facing, and taking stock of our individual and collective strengths, this is the direction we would like to take and where our energies will be channeled into,” she said.
Ms Veikune said it was also important because the region’s key stakeholders and donor partners were also privy to a lot of the conversations to help them make connections and for them to better navigate their own activities.