Educational Research Workshop in Suva
Suva, Fiji – A three-day Educational Research workshop was held on the 27-29 October with 30 staff from the Ministry of Education in Fiji. One of the aims of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) is to develop research capacity in member countries and provide support to national research personnel through training workshops, seminars and consultations. This was the second country (a pilot was held in Tonga in September 2015) to participate in this workshop, which was the first of a series of workshops to develop capacity for educational research.
Participants at the Fiji workshop were former high school teachers who are currently being employed as Education Officers and Research Officers in the Ministry of Education. Teachers from diverse teaching backgrounds which included Science, Commerce, Mathematics, Languages and Social Science came together for the three day workshop to engage in research activities.
This workshop provided a platform for education officers to exchange ideas, share experiences and develop approaches to bridge the gap between practitioners and policy makers. The approach being taken is to develop the research capacity at Ministry level to address pertinent issues at country/national level and possibly contribute to addressing issues at regional level.
Participants were assisted and encouraged to develop their own research proposals to investigate and explore issues in education that are of interest to Fiji. Potential areas for research included assessment, classroom practice, teacher standards, teaching methods, school leadership, absenteeism and drop-outs, and many more. The research proposals developed in the workshop were submitted to the Ministry for approval before the researcher carries out the investigation. EQAP will continue to support the researchers to undertake their selected research.
This workshop provided an opportunity for the participants to critically analyse the issues they brought from their various education systems and start on the first steps of designing and planning research investigations to investigate those issues. Discussions and presentations that took place in the workshop gave the officers opportunities to share and learn from each other. This enabled them to discover common issues which they collectively worked on as well as individual areas of interest to be followed up after the workshop. This workshop set the direction for future workshops and follow up research activities.
SPC through its Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) is committed to supporting learning and teaching through quality assessment and are engaged in training, research and documentation to strengthen the ability of Ministries and other stakeholders to make decisions and policy based on sound research evidence.
Ms. Nina Tu’i, SPC EQAP Educational Assessment Specialist (Research),
[email protected] or +679 3378525