APIA, SAMOA – 20 JUNE 2020: The Governments of Australia, New Zealand and Samoa are collaborating on a project to enhance the quality of education and training, and increase the rates of participation in education and training opportunities in Samoa.
The joint funding agreement between the Governments of Samoa, Australia and New Zealand was signed this week.
The Government of Australia is contributing AUD$13 million and the Government of New Zealand is contributing NZD$11 million to the next phase of the Education Sector Support Programme (ESSP), 2020 to 2024.
It builds on the existing agreement which supports long term improvements in education outcomes by upgrading teacher qualifications, providing innovative models for teacher in-service training, supporting implementation of Minimum Service Standards, and upskilling TVET trainers.
The ESSP will be implemented through the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture; the National University of Samoa; and the Samoa Qualifications Authority.
An expanded focus of the ESSP includes education information systems as a tool for remote teaching and learning as a response to COVID-19, and the provision of technical assistance at strategic and school level.
The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti acknowledges the support from both the Governments of Australia and New Zealand. and notes the alignment with key priorities of the sector as articulated in the new Education Sector Plan. This is also closely linked to the national priorities as reflected in the national development strategy and the financing framework outlined in the Budget.
According to Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, HE Ms Sara Moriarty, a healthy, educated community will be crucial to Samoa’s economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.
“Australia’s investment in education, in partnership with Samoa and New Zealand, will enable all children including those with a disability, to gain the skills they need to obtain work or go on to further study and to lead productive lives,” Ms Moriarty said.
HE Dr Trevor Matheson, New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, added that working together — particularly against the backdrop of the global impact of COVID-19 — will help Samoa improve capacity and realise its goals for the education sector.
“The signing of this joint funding agreement is an important achievement in our shared and ongoing commitment to supporting and further developing skills, knowledge and learning opportunities in Samoa,” Dr Matheson said.