Education ministers, senior officials and conference delegates attended one of PCF10’s most anticipated Parallel Sessions – the Commonwealth of Learning-sponsored “Strategies and solutions for ODFL in the Pacific Region.” The event was co-chaired by The Hon. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Prime Minister of Samoa and Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO, Commonwealth of Learning.
The partnership for open, distance and flexible learning in the Pacific is a COL project supported by New Zealand, providing professional development for technical and vocational education in the developing region.
University of the South Pacific (USP) remarks were delivered by Dr Rajni Kaushal Chand, Director for the Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL) at the University of the South Pacific (USP) and Director of PACFOLD, a regional center of COL.
Dr Kaushal explained that small, developing states require access to educational opportunities, albeit a challenging endeavour especially during and after the global Covid-19 pandemic. She went on to say that implementing the technology offered through various ODFL channels is greatly needed… now and into the future.
Prof Asha Kanwar, President and CEO, COL, commented, “15 to 20% of public funding (in the Pacific) should be spent on education… ODFL is a step in the right direction.”
Speakers at the lively and informative event included,
- The Hon. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Prime Minister of Samoa
- Prof Asha Kanwar, President and CEO, COL
- Dr Tony Mays, Education Specialist: Open Schooling, COL
- Dr Anjeela Jokhan Perm Secretary Fiji Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts
- Ms Kirsty Pelenur Deputy High Commissioner of New Zealand in Canada
- Ms Frances Ferreira, Acting Director: Skills, COL
- Mr Robert Okinda, Adviser: Skills, COL
- Ms Peseta Noumea Simi, CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa.