On Universal Children’s Day Coffey celebrates an improvement in Kiribati education outcomes – achieved through a focus on parent engagement and school infrastructure.
The Coffey-managed, Australian Government-funded Kiribati Education Improvement Program supports the Kiribati Ministry of Education to achieve its Education Sector Strategic Plan. Activities include curriculum development and implementation, teacher professional development, school infrastructure rehabilitation, school-community partnerships and education sector capacity.
At Bareaumai Primary School, a pilot school for parent engagement programs, parents in the catchment zone around the school were encouraged to participate in school initiatives – resulting in an increase in enrolment and re-enrolment of children who had dropped out of school.
In addition, improvements in local school infrastructure in Kiribati are also encouraging students who have left the education system to return.
Community pride in the recently rehabilitated local school is playing a role to increase participation and provide children with access to education.
Community pride in the recently rehabilitated local school is playing a role to increase participation and provide children with access to education. School communities are engaging with school administrations to undertake and prioritise projects such as the maintenance of school gardens, refurbishment of teacher residences, and the tidying of school grounds.
The results of these parent-led initiatives are benefiting children through improving the school environments and thereby supporting opportunities for improved learning outcomes.
The launch of the Inclusive Education Policy in March 2015 further supports efforts to promote access to and participation in basic education for all children in Kiribati.
Inclusive education is approached through several touch points in the Program including curriculum materials, teacher training, community engagement activities including education advocacy and parent interventions.