A new Network for Educational Research was launched this week at a workshop of Pacific education experts and researchers held in Suva. The Network will focus on sharing knowledge and promoting evidence based decisions across the region, and build on the impressive progress made in the development of world class education system in the Pacific.
The workshop was facilitated by the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Educational Quality & Assessment Programme (EQAP) in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) Institute of Education and School of Education.
Participants for the 2 days of sessions included researchers from the Education Ministries from the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
In her opening keynote address, Dr Seu’ula Johansson-Fua, USP Director Institute of Education stressed, “To encourage a culture of research within any Ministry, there is a need for a champion – a leader who is a researcher through and through. Cultures within any organisation are the domains of leaders and as such, to promote a culture of research in your ministry, you or someone in your ministry must champion the cause.”
The Network for Educational Research will connect Ministries of Education in Pacific Islands, and establish an effective communication platform to share the successes and challenges that education programs face in this region.
EQAP Education Research Specialist Nina Tu’I expressed her confidence in potential of the Network saying, “We are so privileged to provide this space which allows countries to bring research to the fore within Education Ministries. There is a renewed focus on developing capacity to be able to provide high quality, relevant and timely research evidence for decision makers.”
The 27 Education researchers will also attend and participate in the USP’s Vaka Pasifiki Education Conference (VPEC), for which SPC is a Gold Sponsor. VPEC provides an opportunity for sharing ideas on research, best practice, teaching, and learning in Oceania, utilising a unique methodology to facilitate an academic conference used traditional and cultural approaches from the Pacific.
Over 300 participants including national, regional and international educators will attend the education conference at USP from July 5 – 6, which aims to pave the way for data based decisions by Education Ministries throughout the Pacific and compliments the goals of the Network for Educational Research.
Solo Mathewsella, SPC EQAP Communication Assistant | email: [email protected]