The Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) Programme Joint Oversight Mission team has expressed its admiration for Palau’s unwavering commitment to education excellence, citing the nation’s proactive approaches to implementing PacREF activities to complement its own national efforts in striving to achieve its national education targets.

During a recent four-day Joint Oversight Mission (JOM) to Palau, PacREF representatives, including co-chair Amy McAteer, ADB Consultant & Education Advisor, along with PacREF Facilitating Unit staff, engaged extensively with Palau’s Ministry of Education, school leaders, and educators to assess the impact of the PacREF programme and its contributions to the nation’s education landscape.

The insights gained during the mission highlighted Palau’s significant strides in integrating PacREF into its education system, demonstrating profound synchrony between the regional framework and the country’s national priorities. This alignment fosters a sense of ownership of the Regional Goods (RGs), the PacREF programme’s main outputs, and signifies an earnest intention to strengthen existing national educational programmes.

The assessment also revealed specific targeted initiatives by Palau’s education system to address learning gaps, including addressing findings from the PILNA data, enhancing accreditation processes in alignment with the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF), promoting equity and equality, and leveraging ICT to support student learning in remote schools.

“The eagerness displayed by Palau in sharing and learning highlights the potential for substantial and sustainable progress,” added Ms McAteer.

“The existing PacREF framework serves as a strong foundation, capable of stimulating national processes for educational enhancement. From top-level officials down to school-level educators, a structured approach to capacity building is envisioned, ensuring a comprehensive development strategy.”

“We are deeply impressed by Palau’s unwavering dedication to advancing education and aligning it with regional goals through the PacREF programme,” stated Mr Filipe Jitoko, PacREF Programme Coordinator. “The commitment and enthusiasm of Palau’s Ministry of Education staff and educators are commendable, which could be shared across the region.”  The JOM team were introduced to some innovative education initiatives in Palau that could be shared throughout the region through a platform such as the Wansolwara model for south-south cooperation. The JOM Team visited some classrooms in Palau and was impressed by the innovative teaching pedagogies displayed by teachers bringing new technologies into their teaching.

The JOM team also commended Palau’s Ministry of Education, school leaders, and educators for their warm welcome and enlightening experience. The Team also presented to a group of parliamentarians from Palau’s National Parliament and was impressed by the level of commitment and interest shown by the Parliamentarians, which is an indication of the political will towards education in the island nation.

Palau’s education system, as in most of the northern Pacific education systems, is very much influenced by its association with the United States of America. These experiences could benefit education systems in the South Pacific and vice versa, and discussions were also centred around such sharing and learning experiences.

The team expressed its gratitude for the nation’s dedication to leveraging the benefits of PacREF to enhance the quality of education for all Palauan students.

The joint oversight mission was made possible with the support of partners, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Global Partnership for Education (GPE), New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the PacREF Facilitating Unit (PFU)

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) – Educational Quality & Assessment Programme (EQAP), USP – Pacific TAFE, Institute of Education (IOE), Discipline of Education (DOE), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) is a regional partner to the PacREF.

For more information, please contact Ms Kelera Serelini-Varawa, PacREF Facilitating Unit (PFU), Tel: +679 2729060,

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