Senior education policy and curriculum development officials from the region met on 3-5 April 2017 to map a way forward for their countries to strengthen the human rights, gender equality, civic education and social citizenship components of their national education curriculum.
The meeting, jointly organised by SPC’s Regional Rights Resources Team (RRRT), Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) and Social Development Programme (SDP) with the support of the Australian Government, discussed the relevance, readiness, and opportunities for implementing human rights curricula in Pacific island countries.
Participants shared experiences from implementing other socially-orientated curricula balancing multiple demands, and generating curriculum content and teaching solutions by drawing on existing skills and expertise. There was consensus on building on existing curricula. Countries represented included Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Speaking at the opening of the consultation, SPC Deputy Director-General Dr Audrey Aumua, said universal enjoyment of human rights, including equal opportunities and outcomes for women and girls, reflected the best of what Pacific cultures and histories had to offer, and complemented SPC’s vision for prosperity and development in the region.
“Social citizenship education, tailored to country contexts and adaptive to local conditions and challenges will prepare Pacific youth to embrace and own human rights and gender equality,” said Dr Aumua.
RRRT Senior Human Rights Adviser, Dr Jayshree Mangubhai said “This consultation is in the context of SPC’s growing role in this area, and brings together SPC’s significant experience and expertise in human rights, gender, and education design and delivery to address common issues.”
Dr Mangubhai added that this consultation was a critical step in ensuring that school curricula incorporated and promoted respect for the human rights of all and the attendant responsibilities.
Moving ahead, SPC will provide curriculum development, policy review, gender and human-rights mainstreaming and whole of school support to Pacific countries as they integrate human rights and gender equality into the school and education system.