Allocation: US$0.75 million
Grant agent: UNICEF
The US$750,000 GPE COVID-19 grant supports:
- Developing paper-based distance learning materials for children living on remote islands
- The social and emotional well-being of children, teachers and parents to improve the learning and teaching environment
- Training teachers on distance learning, education in emergencies, SEL, safe school operations and formative assessments on learning and wellbeing, etc.
- Ensuring safe school operations including water and sanitation interventions (WASH) in schools and other essential support to abide by the safe school operation protocol
- Strengthening the education system by establishing data collection, analysis and evidence generation to learn from lessons and improve the system to contribute to build back better.
In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in the Marshall Islands received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus pandemic. The funds were used to support the home learning framework and costing.
Education in the Marshall Islands
Regional strategy: PacREF
In 2018, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Education Ministers, in which the Marshall Islands participate, adopted Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) 2018-2030: Moving Towards Education 2030. PacREF outlines a transformative and sustainable regional education agenda aligned with global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4, and Education 2030: Incheon Declaration on Education for All Framework for Action.
The 12-year framework promotes equitable access to high quality education by all Pacific Islanders with a view to enable their countries to effectively deal with the development challenges facing the Pacific region. The framework also encourages inclusivity and opportunities for equal access to informal, primary, secondary and tertiary education and training. It focuses particularly on education quality and the importance of working cooperatively in the region and beyond.
While Pacific countries integrate what they consider as the relevant parts of the PacREF Program into their national education policies, programs and practices, the Framework also provides a means for identifying and understanding similarities and differences across the region. It offers organizing mechanisms for sector planning, reporting and collaboration, and give development partners with an understanding of where the region’s resourcing priorities lie.
The PacREF has 4 key policy areas to maximize gains in student learning outcomes and well-being:
- Quality and relevance: Provide all learners with a safe and supportive environment, within which they are offered high quality learning opportunities that are meaningful, valuable, inclusive and future-focused.
- Learning pathway: Provide all learners equal access to multiple and seamless pathways and modalities of learning that will allow them to meet their full potential.
- Student outcomes and wellbeing: Make sure all learners acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attributes to enable them to contribute to their families, communities and to nation building.
- The teaching profession: Support and empower teachers through opportunities for continuous development, shared understanding and accountability.
PacREF is divided into three 4-year phases to facilitate in-depth program review by the education ministers.
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Education sector progress
The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in the Marshall Islands.
Primary completion rate
Lower secondary completion rate
Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age
Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age
Pre-primary gross enrollment rate
Gender parity index for out-of-school rate
Public expenditure on education as share of GDP
Students/trained teacher ratio
Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.