Forum Education Ministers to discuss priorities for the region

Port Vila, Vanuatu– Education priorities for the region will be high on the agenda when Forum Education Ministers gather for their 9th meeting to be held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, 14 – 15 May 2012.

“The Forum Education Ministers’ Meeting (FEdMM) has provided an important and useful forum for Ministers to come together and dialogue and agree on how they can work together in developing education through regional mechanisms,” Mr Feleti Teo, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat told a pre-meeting media briefing session in Port Vila today.

“I wish to express the appreciation of the Forum Secretariat to the Government of Vanuatu, specifically the Minister of Education, his officials and the organizing committee for the arrangements that are in place to receive the Ministers, representatives of governments, development partners, CROP agencies, UN agencies and other stakeholders in education who will converge onto Port Vila for the meeting,” said Mr Teo.

An important outcome of the 9th FEdMM is the expected announcement by the Ministers of the education priorities for the region upon which efforts of countries and development partners and donors will be focused.

“There are competing priorities in education in all of the regional countries which cannot be met through national resources alone. So hopefully when Ministers agree to what should be the regional priority for the next 12 months, donors and development partners will focus resources and commit to these priorities,” Forum Secretariat Deputy Secretary General Mr Teo said.

The theme of the 9th FEdMM is “Sustainable Quality Education – 2012 and beyond”.

“I congratulate the Government of Vanuatu for choosing this theme because it emphasizes the importance of sustainability of the reforms and capacity support provided by donors and development partners in supporting member countries enhance their capability to deliver quality education services to their people,” Mr Teo told the media briefing. This year’s FEdMM will receive a Keynote address by Professor Keith Lewin from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom on trends and issues faced by education systems world-wide which may be of particular relevance to the region. He will highlight education issues and how countries and other regions of the world have managed to resolve challenges such as high school dropouts and improving retention, improving literacy during early years of schooling and how it impacts on student achievement in education.

The 9th FEdMM will also consider and seek to agree on the education priorities under the Pacific Plan for the next three years 2013 – 2015 which will be tabled at this year’s Forum Leaders’ meeting in the Cook Islands in August.

Ministers will be updated on the implementation of the national and regional level activities of the Pacific Education Development Framework (PEDF) which was endorsed in 2009 with its implementation strategy adopted in 2010.

The 9th FEdMM will be officially opened on Sunday 13th May by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Sato Kilman, MP, at a ceremony that will include performances and speeches by the school children of Port Vila.

ENDS.

For media enquiries, contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Officer on phone: +679 9997998 or email: johnsonh@forumsec.org.fj