The Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) Programme Facilitating Unit (PFU) has successfully coordinated stakeholders and nations towards meeting education targets in the Pacific region.
PFU Coordinator, Mr Filipe Jitoko, shared valuable insights on the key challenges and takeaways in advancing the framework at the Oceania Sport and SDGs Strategic Partners Forum opening session during the 43rd Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) Annual General Assembly in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday.
One of the key challenges was coordinating regional activities without disrupting the everyday work of country officials, which was overcome by ensuring all activities were well-structured and efficiently run.
The PFU also identified effective partnerships between implementing agencies and countries as a significant challenge, which was addressed by building strong partnerships between agencies and member countries.
Mr Jitoko also emphasised the importance of country leadership in the success of regional frameworks through their governance structures.
The PFU recommends using existing forums at national levels to create awareness and advocate for regional programmes such as PacREF rather than establishing new forums, as this approach would help streamline the process and ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the programme’s objectives and activities.
Furthermore, the PacREF programme has committed to developing skills and student pathways to create opportunities that meet learner aspirations and abilities. Technical Vocational Education Training, including Sports Development, is a critical aspect of this commitment.
“PacREF’s successful implementation is a testament to the effectiveness of coordinated efforts between different stakeholders and countries. The programme’s key learnings will be valuable in guiding future regional education frameworks in the Pacific region,” Mr Jitoko added.
Fifteen Pacific Island countries are participating in the PacREF programme implementation. The adoption of the PacREF 2018-2030 by Forum Education Ministers in 2018 outlined the transformative and sustainable regional education agenda aligned with global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG4, the education goal and Education 2030: Incheon Declaration on Education for All Framework for Action.
The implementing agencies for PacREF are the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), The University of the South Pacific (USP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) is a regional partner to the PacREF.
Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) fund the programme.