Pacific Heads of Education meeting

The 18th consultation meeting of the Pacific Heads of Education Systems (PHES) is underway in Koror, Palau.

This is the first time for the meeting to be held in the Northern Pacific. The Forum Education Ministers in their meeting in Tonga in 2009 agreed for the PHES to continue to meet and also to discuss the agenda for FEdMM. Countries represented at the meeting are Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Niue, Nauru, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau.

His Excellency the President of Palau, Johnson Toribiong, in opening the consultation meeting expressed his country’s appreciation to the organizers for allowing the meeting to be held in the Northern Pacific.

President Toribiong further stated that “education is at the top of Palau’s priority as we, like other countries in the region, face huge challenges in regards to climate change, health issues and economic development.” The meeting organizers were assured by the President of his support towards the meeting and to provide any assistance if needed.

The development partners present at the meeting include USP, SPBEA/SPC, UNESCO, PREL (Pacific Resources for Education and Learning), PIFS and UNICEF. The meeting is funded by UNESCO through the Participation Programme and its Apia Office, PREL, PIFS and the Spanish Government and the Government of Palau.

The meeting will hear presentations from the regional agencies and development partners with updates of regional projects that are being developed and implemented in the region as mandated by the Forum Education Ministers. These include the updates on the development of the Pacific Qualifications Register, a report of the results of the Feasibility Study by UNESCO on the proposal to establish a sustainable mechanism for training education planners and policy makers in FICs, Status of the Benchmarking of Literacy, Numeracy, and Life Skills Assessment, Update on the Baseline Survey of the Pacific Education Development Framework (PEDF) and a proposal from AusAID on the development and improvement of Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) in the region.

The Heads of Education Systems are expected to bring to the meeting issues and challenges they face in the development of education in their own countries for the consideration of support from development partners in the region. The meeting will also consider issues to be brought to the attention of the Forum Education Ministers in their next meeting which is being scheduled for May 2012 in Vanuatu.

ENDS.

For media queries contact Mr Filipe Jitoko, the Forum Secretariat’s Social Policy Adviser on email: filipej@forumsec.org.fj