Wednesday, May 29, 2024

School’s in for Pacific education ministers

Education Ministers from across the Pacific will gather in Tāmaki Makaurau this week as New Zealand hosts the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers (CPEM).

Education Minister, Jan Tinetti will welcome Education Ministers and senior officials from 18 Pacific Island countries and territories, and from Australia for the three day conference.

“I am looking forward to the breadth of engagement opportunities this important conference will present for dialogue with my counterparts from the Pacific,” Ms Tinetti said.

“Collectively, we will be able to share our extensive education system and policy knowledge, engage in talanoa and learn from each other.”

Minister Tinetti will share her perspective on the conference’s theme ‘Empowering Education for Pacific People’ during her plenary speech. One of the primary objectives of the conference is to define what empowering education means for Pacific people and societies, she said.

“This will be used to guide policy and decision-making to ensure students are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and values to succeed and contribute to their communities, nations, and region.”

“Pacific Education Ministers will be meeting face-to-face, kanohi ki te kanohi, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is very special for me, as my first international hosting opportunity in this portfolio, to demonstrate Aotearoa New Zealand’s manaaki and hospitality to our neighbours.

“When Pacific Education Ministers last met in 2021, it was agreed that the format of our meetings should change. This was to allow for more voices to inform our discussions and to have more time to speak with each other about our education priorities.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has attempted to reflect these decisions in the organisation and structure of this conference. We have included civil society, teachers, young people, and disabled peoples’ organisations, whose voices are very important to hear in any discussions we have,” Ms Tinetti said.

The conference will involve multi-stakeholder education roundtables on four themes: quality and relevance; education financing; building resilience; and access, inclusion, and equity.

Minister Tinetti will be joined by Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Minister for Pacific Peoples Barbara Edmonds, for elements of the conference.

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