Fiji’s Minister for Education, Honourable Mr Aseri Radrodro, will be attending the Conference of Pacific Education Ministers (CPEM) next month and is grateful for the opportunity to meet with regional education leaders and stakeholders to engage in discussions related to the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) and 2030 Agenda.
The CPEM is currently being organised for the 20-22 March 2023 in Auckland -New Zealand, with the theme “Empowering education for Pacific People” and will be attended by education ministers, senior government officials, development partners, civil society organisations, educators, students, and policymakers from across the region.
Hon Radrodro says he hopes the round table discussions and networking sessions during the CPEM will provide a space for sharing national experiences and challenges, learning from each other in how they have responded to global challenges such as Covid-19 and climate change, and innovative recovery strategies which could be useful to apply in their own situation.
“This year, there are several excellent topics that have been planned for discussion, and I’m interested to learn more on how other countries have effectively integrated the PacREF key policy areas into their own national education sector plans,” Hon Radrodro said.
“Education Quality and Relevance is a valuable Policy Area. Fiji has attained universal access to basic education; however, the quality and relevance of what is being taught through the curriculum is something we must evaluate.
For example, whether education prepares our children to live and cope in a fast-changing environment, the impact of globalisation and climate change, information technology and social media are some of the major concerns today.”
He added that “the maintenance and revitalisation of indigenous languages, Pacific indigenous knowledge, and pedagogies are also important considerations for any education system such as Fiji.”
Hon Radrodro believes that the input from civil society organisations will provide a wider perspective on the thematic discussions in Auckland.
“It is an excellent opportunity to share learning and to hear ideas from stakeholders about how we can all work together to identify key education priorities in the Pacific. I also look forward to learning more about sustainable regional education financing and ways to build stronger schools and education systems to respond to the impacts of climate change.”
Hon Radrodro went on to say that Fiji ensures it is meeting the region’s shared objective to improve the quality of education in the country by aligning its education ministry’s strategic plan to the PacREF policies ensuring that high-quality, relevant programmes are provided for learners at all levels of education and that the teaching profession is supported and empowered through opportunities for continuous development.
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.
This year’s CPEM will be held face-to-face, with Ministers of Education invited from across the region to participate in the meeting in Auckland, New Zealand.