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The three-day Endorsement of Regional Qualification meeting held in Nadi, Fiji, concluded with the successful approval of the Graduate Diploma in Teaching qualification in December 2023.
The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) convened members of the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) and industry stakeholders, who are representatives of teacher training institutions and staff of ministries of education from across the region, to endorse the Regional Qualification after a series of development workshops.
“This endorsement signifies the formal acceptance of the qualification for school teachers in the Pacific region,” said EQAP’s Qualification Team Leader, Rajendra Prasad.
Apart from formal acceptance, Prasad added that the endorsement signifies trust in the regional qualification as “it provides ownership of the qualification by the region for delivery by training providers.”
He stated that industry experts came together and discussed the kind of skill set teachers need in the region, “so they provided direct feedback on what the qualification should contain, the depth that it should cover, the volume that it should have, and the kind of key attributes the qualification should reflect”.
Prasad explained that the qualification targeted school teachers, and now “training providers would be able to, with confidence, deliver it and at the same time deliver a qualification that will meet the needs of the teachers.”
The Fiji National University (FNU), College of Humanities and Education’s Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Dr Victor Mafone Alasa, also confirmed that the endorsed qualification will “bring a positive contribution to teacher education in the Pacific, especially on the need for teachers to deliver quality education.”
Dr Alasa highlighted the importance of this endorsement due to the need to fill vacant teaching positions since a large number of teachers are migrating from Fiji.
“This provides an opportunity for everyone who wants to teach but doesn't have that teaching qualification to be able to have access to what it takes to be a teacher in the classroom and learn the principles and teaching pedagogies, the values and all that it takes to be a quality teacher delivering quality education to our Pacific people,” said Dr Alasa.
Prasad explained that the endorsed qualification is unique as it addresses all aspects of what is required of a teacher.
“We had previous teacher qualifications that did not address all the other components, for example, access and equity, human rights and civic education. All these are reflected in the current qualification, so this is complete in all aspects,” said Prasad.
EQAP’s Qualifications Unit will work on the accreditation of the qualification on the Pacific Qualifications Framework.