FOR the intrinsic values of formal schooling to be fully realised by the Pacific's people, a robust education system is vital.
Its robustness is dependent on every part of the education system.
From a curriculum's relevance and quality, a teacher's competency to teach and instil a joy for learning, effective school leadership, and to an enabling school environment. All these make for a robust or quality education system. Add this to a supportive and responsive family network and the resultant learning experience is one every Pacific child needs and deserves.
This is the ultimate goal of the Pacific Community's education programme.
The programme, best known by its acronym EQAP (Educational Quality and Assessment Programme) is the region's technical support organisation on education. It is mandated to work with all SPC member countries to support their efforts to build a robust education system.
Thanks to a unique 10-year funding model that the governments of Australia and New Zealand have committed to, the programme has a functional flexibility that enables it to effectively support the 15 countries' education systems.
EQAP also works closely with its technical partner, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), and collaborates with several international education entities, including UNESCO, NZQA and the GPE.
EQAP is a member and represents the Pacific in the Steering Group of the Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP).
EQAP was first known as the South Pacific Board for Educational Assessment. As shown in the timeline below, SPBEA was established in 1980. Its primary role was to assist the Pacific region and its member countries develop assessment procedures towards their national or regional certificates. After a little more than 30 years, the member countries developed their own national Form 6 qualifications programme. By then its work had expanded beyond assessments. In 2010 the entity joined the Pacific Community and, following an independent review, it became known as the Secretariat of the Pacific Board for Educational Quality (SPBEQ) and its governing body, the Pacific Board of Educational Quality, was born.
Two years later it was relocated to report to the SPC Director-General's Office and was renamed to its current name, the Educational Quality and Assessment Programme.