Regional : Strengthening Education in the Pacific Region
The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) supports (i) Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) to address perennial challenges of improving quality of education through enhanced regionalism and mutually beneficial partnerships with regional institutions focused on education priorities articulated in the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) 2021-2024 (Phase 1); (ii) the development and access to a regional repository platform for open, distance and flexible learning (ODFL); and (iii) small assessments, studies, and exchanges to expand knowledge development and program development in the region.
Borjegren, Per A.S.
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|Project Name||Strengthening Education in the Pacific Region|
|Country / Economy||Regional
Micronesia, Federated States of
Papua New Guinea
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Technical Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Education / Education sector development - Education sector development - social protection initiatives - Pre-primary and primary - Pre-primary and primary - social protection initiatives - Secondary - Secondary - social protection initiatives - Technical and vocational education and training - Tertiary
|Gender||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) supports (i) Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) to address perennial challenges of improving quality of education through enhanced regionalism and mutually beneficial partnerships with regional institutions focused on education priorities articulated in the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) 2021-2024 (Phase 1); (ii) the development and access to a regional repository platform for open, distance and flexible learning (ODFL); and (iii) small assessments, studies, and exchanges to expand knowledge development and program development in the region.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
While Pacific DMCs have made significant progress toward universal access to primary education, student learning outcomes remain poor. Results of the 2015 Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) show modest improvements, but greater effort is needed to strengthen learning as a foundational capacity that prepares young people for further education and work.
Moreover, quality of education remains a challenge despite an emphasis on quality improvement strategies in many DMCs. A number of constraints identified as impacting on quality include: economic, geographical and political constraints; coordination constraints; capacity and accountability constraints on teachers and education managers; data constraints; social constraints, including issues of gender inequality; and constraints relating to language of instruction. Several factors are thought to have contributed to progress including commitment by governments to development goals, partnerships at all levels, including those between DMCs and development partners, regional cooperation through high level forum and regional institutions, increasing demand for a qualified workforce; integrated national education planning and budgeting; school-based improvement initiatives; curriculum reform; and national polices for early childhood.
Pacific DMCs are all challenged by their remoteness, dispersion, and small economies vulnerable to climate change risks and shocks. Strengthened regional mechanisms that encourage Pacific regional institutions coordination and collaboration at the planning and implementation level are key to ensuring that limited financial resources are efficiently and effectively deployed. At the 2017 ADB Annual General Meeting, Pacific governors requested more Pacific-based solutions, underlining the importance of south-south learning and utilization of Pacific institutions and consultants.
Regionalism is critical, and the PACREF supports this well. The PacREF that was approved at the Forum Education Ministers Meeting in May 2018 provides the shared priorities for education and training in the region for the next 4 years, while also responding appropriately to global and regional demands. The four key policy areas identified are: (i) High quality, relevant programs are provided for all levels of education, (ii) Learners' needs are met through a broad range of programs and delivery modalities, (iii) Learners at all levels of education achieve their full potential, from early childhood education to skills development; and (iv) The teaching profession is supported and empowered through opportunities for continuous development, shared understanding and accountability. The PACREF was developed over two years by a small working group of the Pacific Heads of Education Systems, chaired by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and funded by ADB with Global Partnership for Education financing. It will be governed to ensure continued Pacific country ownership. Development partners will pool and coordinate funding under the framework supporting a group of identified regional institutions in a coordinated delivery of agreed priority regional goods and services under the framework.
Lastly, access to quality and relevant education content that is contextually appropriate to the Pacific region has been a large challenge. Inroads have been made in this area with a few development partners, including ADB, trialing e-learning resources, and the potential usefulness of a regional platform to better promote ODFL have become clear.
Inclusive and equitable quality education ensured and lifelong learning opportunities for all promoted (Sustainable Development Goal 4)
|Description of Outcome||
Regional capacity to improve education outcomes in the Pacific enhanced
|Progress Toward Outcome||
The PacREF facilitation unit (PFU) has assumed the role of coordinating key regional and international education agencies. Four key policy areas for regional education improvements were identified and an implementation plan developed and agreed by all PDMCs. Development of e-learning resources for STEM subjects was identified as a regional priority.
|Description of Project Outputs||
PACREF implementation supported
Regional repository and learning management platform for ODFL established
Small assessments, studies, and exchanges to expand knowledge development and program development supported.
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
Following the approval of the Education Sector Program Implementation Grant from the Global Partnership for Education, the PFU together with the four implementing agencies, the University of the South Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community through its Education Quality Assessment Programme, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and UNICEF, have been steadily gaining momentum in the conducting activities towards the development of the regional goods under the four policy areas.
Following the inception meeting with the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA) in Q3 of 2021, an ICT Systems Design Engineer was mobilized and an in- country consultation was fielded recently together with the Chief Technical Advisor to commence the systems design.
The concept development and approval of TA 9807-PNG: Improved Technical Vocation Education and Training for Employment, has been supported. Additional priority regional studies have been identified: (i) education financing in selected Pacific countries, (ii) enabling equitable access to education, and (iii) learning loss and recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design|
|During Project Implementation|
|Consulting Services||Consultants following the ADB Procurement Policy: Goods, Works, Non-consulting, and Consulting Services (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated staff instructions. A national consulting firm will be recruited under the quality- and cost-based selection method with a quality cost ratio of 80:20 and simplified technical proposal for the development of the e-learning resources and teacher capacity development.|
|Procurement||Procurement of IT equipment for schools and other goods for software trialing of proprietary e-learning resource and multimedia application software will use request for quotation method. The procurement of IT equipment for schools will be undertaken by the ADB project team in close coordination with MEHA while the procurement of goods for software trialing of proprietary e-learning resource and multimedia application software will be undertaken by the national consulting firm. All procurement will be in accordance with the ADB Procurement Policy and the Procurement Regulations for ADB Borrowers (2017, as amended from time to time).|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Borjegren, Per A.S.|
|Responsible ADB Department||Sectors Group|
|Responsible ADB Division||Human and Social Development Sector Office (SG-HSD)|
Asian Development Bank
|Concept Clearance||09 Oct 2018|
|Fact Finding||20 Aug 2018 to 24 Aug 2018|
|Approval||29 Nov 2018|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||15 Sep 2022|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|29 Nov 2018||-||29 Nov 2018||31 Dec 2023||30 Jun 2025||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|2,250,000.00||18,741,666.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||20,991,666.00||09 Sep 2023||2,046,090.45|
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Proposed Procurement Arrangements for the Transfer of Funds to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization under ADB Technical Assistance for Strengthening Education in the Pacific Region Distribution||Documents Produced Under Grant/Loans/TA||May 2021|
|Strengthening Education in the Pacific Region: Technical Assistance Report||Technical Assistance Reports||Nov 2018|
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