COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$0.75 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key documents:

The US$750,000 COVID-19 grant supports:

  • the implementation of the Samoa Education Sector COVID-19 Response Plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
  • delivery of distance learning using different modalities (online, TV, radio, print), including procurement of laptops for teachers and radios for vulnerable households
  • emergency planning and hygiene supplies for schools as well as teacher training on psychosocial support
  • system resilience through development of guidelines and best practice in distance learning
  • special attention to students from low socioeconomic background, living in remote locations and with special needs

Even though there have been no COVID-19 cases in Samoa and schools have been fully open since June, the Samoan government made preemptive plans in case of school closure, like schools distributing packages to students equivalent to 2 months of school workload. The government has also made available educational television and radio broadcasting shows.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Samoa received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in developing resources for remote learning and the preparation of a learning platform.

Education in Samoa

Regional strategy: PacREF

In 2018, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Education Ministers, in which Samoa participates, adopted the 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
COVID-19 2020 750,000 0 UNICEF
  Total 750,000 0  
Data last updated: November 15, 2020

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Samoa.

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

Teachers trained

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.

Last updated November 19, 2020