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Pacific Benchmarking for Education Results (PaBER)

What is PaBER?

The PaBER initiative is in its pilot phase and involves education ministries in three countries – Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands – and technical support from the Pacific Community through the Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP).

Its main aim is to provide Pacific Islands’ education ministries with a systematic and reliable means of learning from their own systems, and from systems in other countries, about the policies, processes and activities that can have a positive impact on the quality of education, and specifically on learning outcomes.  The initiative involves developing and using tools to inform and identify policy and interventions that will improve learning outcomes. 

 The PaBER initiative was endorsed by the Pacific Forum Education Ministers Meeting (FEdMM) in October 2010.The three-year pilot, which ends in 2016, is funded by the Australian Government.

The ultimate goal of PaBER is to improve education quality through increasing the literacy and numeracy levels of students in the Pacific region. If the pilot is successful, other Pacific countries may have the opportunity to participate. 

What services does EQAP offer?

The PaBER regional team at the EQAP is responsible for coordinating the PaBER pilot in conjunction with the respective education ministries for Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands, and in providing assistance, and for ensuring the planned activities are implemented accordingly, monitored and reported.

The PaBER approach is to develop and use tools to inform and identify policy and interventions that will improve learning outcomes.  The key desired outcome is that the pilot countries will be better positioned to plan and implement interventions that will improve learning through: 

a)    Using and analysing the results from a field tested regional tool for measuring primary level literacy and numeracy for use in the wider Pacific;

 b)    Systematic, benchmarked and comparable analysis of education policies and systems for replication in the wider Pacific; and

 c)   Sharing Information on education policies, practices and systems and the ways in which they are implemented on the ground.

In seeking to achieve these outcomes, the pilot is strengthening country systems and building technical capacity at both regional and country levels. 

The country level activities include implementing:

·        PILNA literacy and numeracy instruments after six years of schooling;

·        Institutional Capacity Analysis across the three assessment units of the participating countries;

·        Skills audit of the assessment personnel and sample of primary school teachers;

·        System Assessment of the four identified policy domains (Teacher Quality,  Curriculum and Materials, School Governance and Management, and Assessment Systems);

·        Institutional Policy Capacity Analysis across the four policy domains; and

·        Fieldwork research exploring the extent to which policy is put into practice on the ground, and how policy is transformed by practice.

Useful links:

·       Papua New Guinea Department of Education

·       Samoa Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture

·       Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development



3 Luke Street, Nabua, SUVA | Postal: EQAP, Pacific Community (SPC), Private Mail Bag, SUVA, Fiji Islands | Phone: (679) 331 5600 | Fax:(679) 337 8598 / 3378 599 | Email:[email protected]

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