The quality of education in the South Pacific

C. D. Throsby, K. Gannicott

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Reviews research on educational quality and its application to the island economies of the South Pacific, with specific reference to Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Western Samoa. Many teachers in the region have received no teacher training, with the use of unqualified staff being especially prevalent in more remote locations where it is difficult to attract teachers. Some secondary teachers have no more secondary schooling than the pupils they teach. Problems of teacher quality are especially acute in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, although they exist in every one of the countries under study. There are problems of inadequate facilities and shortages of materials and equipment throughout the region. In Tonga, Western Samoa and Fiji, initial primary instruction is in the vernacular language. It seems likely that at least part of the reason for the higher standards of education in these countries is due to their use of the local language in the early years of schooling. Better administration and management are essential components of improved quality of education in the Pacific, but it has to be appreciated that investments in this area take a long while both to implement and to show any return. Several countries have sought to replace their academic curricula with more vocationally-oriented approaches at the secondary level. However, the evidence suggests that a diversified or vocational curriculum is unlikely to result in an improved quality of schooling. -from Authors


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