Kiribati is a small state of the Commonwealth with a population of about 110,000 spread over islands and atolls covering an immense expanse of ocean.


School-age Population by Education Level1









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Secondary Education
for the school year ending 20081









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Tertiary Education1









Percentage of female teachers in 1









1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, retrieved in May 2018


Literacy rate (2012)1




Adult (15+) literacy rate


Adult (15+) literacy rate



Economic Activity (2010)1




Adult (15+) economic activity


Adult (15+) economic activity



Political Decision Making (2014)1


Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament



Life expectancy (2012)1









1. COL gender country profile April 2015 


0.7 39.6
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



1.1 42
Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



7.3 13.7
Households with a computer (%)1 Individuals using the internet (%)1



1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Eye Country profile, retrieved in May, 2018



COL’s work in Kiribati is primarily in the areas of teacher education, tertiary education and skills development through the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth.

Knowledge Management and Technology

  • COL’s open-source hardware Aptus, was deployed extensively by the Ministry of Education in 2016. Aptus enables learners in remote locations with limited or no connectivity to access high-quality digital OER using their own mobile devices. The content in Aptus was customised to suit the requirements of secondary schools in Kiribati.

Learn more about Aptus.

Pacific Centre for Open and Flexible Learning for Development

  • COL and the University of the South Pacific work collaboratively in supporting the Pacific Centre for Flexible and Open Learning for Development (PACFOLD), a regional centre for capacity building in open and distance learning (ODL) in the Pacific. The centre’s priorities include: advocacy and capacity building for flexible and open learning for sustainable development; the development of regional and national policies on open, distance and flexible learning; and research in flexible and open learning.
  • The online community PACFOLD Learn was launched in early 2017.
  • Also in 2017, PACFOLD offered an online course on Flexible Skills Development, attracting participants from across the region.

Learn more about the Pacific Centre for Open and Flexible Learning for Development.

Teacher Education

  • In collaboration with the Kiribati Teachers College (KTC) in Tarawa, COL launched the Teacher Futures programme, which was officially initiated in 2017 by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Kaaro Neeti and the Principal, KTC, Mr Aberaam Tebitaki. Under this programme, COL works with teacher education institutions, teachers and teacher communities to develop scalable national and cross-national teacher development models for improved learning outcomes.
  • The launch of Teacher Futures was followed by a capacity-building workshop to sensitise KTC staff on the tenets of the programme and prepare the attending teacher-educators for participation in a global community of practice.

Learn more about the Teacher Education initiative.

Technical and Vocational Skills Development

  • In 2017, COL welcomed participants from nine Pacific countries to a four-day regional workshop on OER course design for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) held in Suva, Fiji. The workshop was hosted by the Pacific Technical and Further Education institute at USP and aimed to strengthen TVET in the region through the use of OER. Twenty-six TVET educators, including two from Kiribati Institute of Technology, attended the workshop.

Learn more about the Technical and Vocational Skills Development initiative.

Technology-Enabled Learning

  • In 2017, 27 teachers from Kiribati participated in COL’s TEL MOOC course.

Learn more about the Technology-Enabled Learning initiative.

Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth

  • Kiribati continues to be a member of the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC). Initiated by ministers of education of developing small states of the Commonwealth, VUSSC supports the collaborative development and sharing of open educational resources (OER) to promote learning for sustainable development. The VUSSC partnership represents 30 small states of the Commonwealth dedicated to expanding access to tertiary education.
  • COL’s President launched the Blue Economy course at the University of Seychelles’ Blue Economy Institute in March 2017. The ten-week course attracted 243 participants from 47 countries. It will be of particular interest to small island states, such as Kiribati.
  • A number of participants from Kiribati participated in a MOOC on Climate Change, offered by USP in collaboration with COL and UNESCO.

Learn more about the VUSSC initiative.


Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector.

COL partners in Kiribati with the Ministry of Education.