Vaka Pasifiki Education Conference 2018

Vaka Pasifiki Education Conference 2018

The Institute of Education (IOE), USP is pleased to announce the Vaka Pasifiki Education Conference (VPEC), 2018. This conference follows the Vaka Pasifiki Education Conference 2016, marking “education for what? Revisited”. VPEC provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas, presentation of research and best practice, and teaching and learning in Oceania.

Theme: It takes an island and an ocean: Rethinking Pacific Education for resilient, healthy communities

Venue: Laucala Campus, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.

Dates: 5 & 6 July, 2018

Key Conference Dates

  • Early Bird Registration 9 March
  • Deadline for Abstracts 16 March
  • Registration closes 18 June
  • Deadline for Presentations 18 June
  • PERF Board Meeting 4 July
  • Vaka Pasifiki Conference 5 & 6 July

The Conference has two parts to its theme with sub themes:

Part one: ‘It takes an island’

Sub theme 1 Pikinini blong mi: In this sub-theme, we draw from the Melanesian term of ‘my child’ and bring the focus on the Pacific child. What do we know about the Pacific child of today? Are they healthy? Are they safe? What are their aspirations? What are their challenges?

In this sub-theme, we invite participation by researchers from a range of fields (including medicine, public health, sociology, psychology, environment, climate change, migration, poverty, law, religion, economics, history, anthropology, science, etc.)

Suggested format of delivery: Tok stori/story telling

Sub theme 2 Ako: In this second sub-theme, we draw from the Polynesian word ‘Ako’ in reference to learning. In this sub theme the focus is on the learning context for the Pacific child. What learning opportunities exist for the child – through formal, informal and non-formal learning? How are they learning? What are new pedagogies that are emerging? What is the relevance of their learning to their increasingly diverse, fluid, and changing world?

In this sub-theme, we invite presentations by researchers from the fields of education, including formal, informal, and non-formal education contexts. This can include teachers, lecturers, Sunday school teachers, trainers with traditional knowledge and skills, master navigators, weavers, farmers’ school trainers, etc.

Suggested format of delivery: Presentations

Part two: ‘…and an ocean’

Sub theme 3 Maneaba: In this sub theme, we draw lessons from the Kiribati and Tuvalu Maneaba as a meeting house, where community’s issues are debated and discussed. This is an opportunity for critical reflection for the Pacific regional organizations that serve the education sector. This is an invitation for USP, SPC, national universities, colleges, development partners and international universities and institutions who are interested in Pacific Education to critically reflect on their roles as regional educators. What does regionalism mean to them? Are they still relevant? What is their purpose? How do they engage in this space? What are the shape of things to come in this space? Who are the beneficiaries?

Suggested format of delivery: Open space for Maneaba

Sub theme 4 Lan: In this sub theme, `lan’ refers to the sky in the Marshallese language, here we invite the star gazers, the navigators, the Moana and the Maui to take us further, to dream for us a new space, and to draw up a new direction to go forward. This theme invites innovators, creators, builders, designers, crafters, artists, musicians, poets, orators, dancers and performers to share aspirations and hopes for our children and our future.

In this sub theme, we welcome demonstrations of ideas and concept papers through art (different forms) poetry, oratory, music, performance, as well as the use of technology and traditional media for expression of ideas.

Suggested format of delivery: Live demonstrations throughout the two-day conference, including performance from USP in the evenings from OCAC.

Conference conveners now invite Teacher Educators, Educational Policy-makers, Teachers, Lecturers, Researchers, Health Practitioners, Social Workers, Theologians, Artists, Performers, Postgraduate Students, and all with a passion for teacher education in Oceania, to submit abstracts and papers for presentations to be presented at the VPEC.

Conference Conveners

Associate Prof Kabini Sanga (VUW)
Dr Frances Koya Vaka’uta (USP)
Dr Seu’ula Johansson-Fua (IOE, USP)

Conference Coordinator

Dr Mo’ale ‘Otunuku

Logistics Committee

Mr Richard Robyns
Dr Sereima Naisilisili
Miss Afuafu (Lupe) Kautoke
Mr Stephen Fong
Mr Lausi’i Siale

Program Committee

Associate Prof Ann Cheryl Armstrong ann.armstrong(at)
Dr Ruth Toumu’a
Dr Ledua Waqailiti
Ms Laura van Peer
Dr Billy Fitoo
Dr David Fa’avae


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