The Fiji National Education Summit will be held from the 20th to the 22nd of September in Nadi with a theme “Transforming Our Education System, Building and Supporting Resilient Fijians”.
Minister for Education, Education Aseri Radrodro stated this in his ministerial address in Parliament saying consultation is key to allowing policies to be owned by our people.
Radrodro says the National Education framework will be an outcome of the Fiji National Education Summit which will ensure that education is equitable, standardised and effective and that it aligns with the needs of the country and its citizens.
He says the coalition government is providing the opportunity to all stakeholders and communities who engage in education in the country to become part of the consultations leading up to and during the Fiji National Education Summit.
The Minister says they have put together a status report that shows the standard of education in the country and the report shows huge concern areas that need urgent attention such as the TVET subsector, the organisation sector of the Ministry, status and work conditions of teachers, the assessment system, and grant distribution to name a few.
Radrodro says with Fiji being the newest member of the Global Pacific Education, the global mechanism providing funds to transform the education system to achieve quality education for boys and girls.
The Minister acknowledges UNICEF who are the grant agent in Fiji for the release of funds to fund the summit.
A wide range of stakeholders have been meeting since May 2023 to put together 7 thematic areas as the focus for a new Education Policy Framework.
These pillars are: Curriculum & Sustainable Development, Quality Assurance and Assessment; Teaching Profession and Leadership; Early Childhood Education, Inclusive Education, Access, Equitable, Safe & Healthy Schools; Education Financing and Effective Governance; Technical, Vocational Education & Training, Non-formal and Life long Learning; Digital Learning & Transformation, Information Technology and Cyber Safety; and Education Policy, Planning, Research and Data.
Opposition MP Premila Kumar says from the past they have always been hearing about this “Education Commission” as the only solution to the problem, that was the thinking.
Kumar says now, that thinking has been diluted and there is a realisation that we need to work on the education sector plan and that can only be done through evidence based research.
She also says the work did not start in May 2023 but last year.
The former Education Minister says the first step was to present the cabinet paper, get approval to join the Global Pacific Education and they were working closely with UNICEF who were the ones assisting the Ministry with technical workshops as well as consultation.
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