Australia and SPC: committed to improving education and climate change adaptation across the Pacific

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Director-General, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, has signed several grant agreements with the Government of Australia totalling an estimated AUD 4.44 million.

The funds received under these agreements comprise part of the Australian Government's continued support for the work provided by SPC to its member countries. This latest funding support's SPC's work in climate change adaptation and educational assessment.

Climate change
The Multi-Country Climate Change Adaptation Program will receive AUD 1.644 million over a two-year period under Australia's International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ICCAI). This program will cover Fiji, Tokelau and Tonga to implement coastal fisheries, marine and freshwater resource, and integrated water and coastal resource management adaptation measures. The program will focus on national training and capacity building, specialised technical assistance, developing information and education materials, and identifying and implementing on-the-ground climate change adaptation activities.

Educational assessment
SPC's initiative to improve children's literacy and numeracy across the Pacific region is being implemented through the Pacific Benchmarking Education Quality for Results (PaBER) pilot project. This project, which received Australian funding of AUD 2.8 million, will equip policy-makers in Pacific countries with information to drive interventions that improve learning results. PaBER will benchmark literacy and numeracy outcomes in Year 6 in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Samoa. These outcomes will have an important influence on policy areas relating to teacher quality, assessment systems, curriculum, materials, and school governance arrangements.

Dr Rodgers acknowledged the Government of Australia, stating 'SPC is grateful for the continued support from Australia to strengthen our work program and assistance to our member countries in climate change and educational assessment.' He added, 'SPC endeavours to help our members meet their objectives, and we are confident that through this support, SPC will assist countries on their way to meeting their development aspirations.'