Pacific Regional Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop


In a small Pacific village, the community gathered once again to rebuild their homes and schools.

This was the third time in a decade that the forces of nature had ravaged their village and place of learning as villagers realised the importance and need of rebuilding resilient infrastructure. They needed a new approach to ensure the safety and continuity of their children’s education.

With this vision, Save the Children through the Pacific Coalition for the Advancement of School Safety (PCASS), the Asia Pacific Coalition for School Safety (APCSS) and the GPE/Climate Resilience in Education Systems Initiative (CSESI), co-led by Save the Children, UNESCO and the UNESCO-IIEP convened a regional stakeholders’ consultation workshop in Nadi from 1 July to 2 July 2024, in partnership with the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) Project Facilitation Unit (PFU).

The Pacific Regional Stakeholders Consultation Workshop on School Safety and Climate Resilience in Education successfully united vital stakeholders, experts, practitioners, and policymakers to support and build on existing efforts of Pacific Governments and partners in school safety and climate resilience in education.

Pacific Island Countries are working towards climate-proofing schools, protecting learners and teachers and safeguarding education investments. Despite increasing pressure on education sectors to prepare for and mitigate climate change effects, “education is never involved in Climate Financing discussion,” said Owen Lewis, Education Secretary from the Cook Islands.

PacREF Facilitating Unit Coordinator, Mr Filipe Jitoko said the workshop contributed to PacREF’s ambition to respond to the Education Leader’s request to build resilience education systems.

“Several regional goods currently developed under Policy Area 3 related to creating safe and resilient school learning environment. An example is the regional good (RG) on Child Protection in Schools Policy, a new RG,” he said.

Anna Seeger from UNESCO Pacific spoke to ongoing initiatives to integrate a climate change lens into national curricula, education sector and school contingency plans and data management systems and the need to build on and upscale existing work, tapping into the power of communities coming together to adapt to climate change realities.

Mr Jitoko highlighted the need for more robust collaborative mechanisms to coordinate all bodies of work related to safe and climate resilient schools and education systems.

“This is to ensure all efforts support each other rather than duplicate each other and the effective use of resources to support countries,” Mr Jitoko said.

Over the past decade, numerous disasters have disrupted the education landscape in the region, highlighting the critical need for advancing school safety implementation.

Recognizing the profound impact of climate change and other risks on the education sector, Pacific leaders and partners have stressed the importance of integrating climate resiliency, education for sustainable development and disaster risk reduction (DRR) into their national education sector development strategies.

This integration is leading to comprehensive approaches to ensure school safety and climate resilience at all levels of educational management, championed by Pacific governments and their partners.

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