Education

Australia extends education support to Fiji

Education stakeholders met in Suva to discuss the Australian-funded Access to Quality Education Program’s (AQEP) activities, progress to date and future plans at the 6th AQEP Stakeholder Meeting. Australian High Commission Counsellor for Development Cooperation in Fiji and Tuvalu, Christina Munzer, opened the discussion. Attendees included representatives of the Ministry of Education, various government ministries, […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

July 1, 2016 8:49 am

Education stakeholders met in Suva to discuss the Australian-funded Access to Quality Education Program’s (AQEP) activities, progress to date and future plans at the 6th AQEP Stakeholder Meeting.

L-R: AQEP Team Leader Dr Priscilla Puamau,Australian Counsellor for Development Cooperation in Fiji and Tuvalu Christina Munzer and Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary for Primary and Secondary Timoci Bure. (AHC)
AQEP Team Leader Dr Priscilla Puamau,Australian Counsellor for Development Cooperation in Fiji and Tuvalu Christina Munzer and Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary for Primary and Secondary Timoci Bure. (AHC)

Australian High Commission Counsellor for Development Cooperation in Fiji and Tuvalu, Christina Munzer, opened the discussion.

Attendees included representatives of the Ministry of Education, various government ministries, development partners, regional bodies and civil society organisations.

Ms Munzer told stakeholders AQEP is now coming to the end of its fifth year, to conclude on 30 June 2017 after a total of six years.

MUZNER:”We have since extended the program for an additional year to mid-2018, to focus on rebuilding school infrastructure damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston.”

She siad the final two years of AQEP’s implementation will be a crucial time for consolidating results.

Ms Munzer also acknowledged AQEP’s close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and schools to hand over responsibilities and ownership of activities.

Permanent Secretary for Education, Iowane Tiko said AQEP’s work in literacy and numeracy is a model that has provided a golden opportunity and a huge breakthrough for many non-readers and innumerate students in Fijian schools and within the Ministry, i’t’s just like gold.

AQEP Stakeholders Meeting participants gather for a group photo (AHC)
AQEP Stakeholders Meeting participants gather for a group photo. (AHC)

According to AQEP Team Leader, Dr Priscilla Puamau, the Program’s activities have benefited over 44,000 primary and secondary school students, representing 21% of all students in Fijian schools.

PUAMAU: “AQEP has been a catalyst in positively changing the attitudes and practices of major stakeholders it works with, particularly head teachers, school management committees, teachers, parents and the community. This has been in areas such as school based management, Literacy and Numeracy strategies for Classes One to Four, and inclusive education.”

Since August 2011, AQEP has worked with Fiji’s Ministry of Education and education service providers to ensure children from the most disadvantaged communities, including those with a disability, can access a quality school education.

Including the one-year extension, AQEP represents an assistance package of AUD58 million to Fiji’s education sector over seven years, expected to end on 30 June 2018.

The program is currently providing comprehensive support to 85 targeted primary schools.

Funded by the Australian Government through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

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