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By Shivanjani Naidu and Shoma Prasad

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 27, 2002 - Wansolwara Online – USP Journalism/Pasifik Nius)---Education strategies highlighted at a three-day regional meeting at the University of the South Pacific were Friday described as "old wine in a new bottle" by Professor Konai Thaman.

Delivering the closing address at the Institute of Education (IOE) advisory seminar and donors' meeting at the Laucala campus, Prof. Thaman said the steps being taken for basic education now were the same as two decades ago.

"I thought of old wine in a new bottle as the main issue that concerns education," she said.

Some of the key conclusions were:

CONCERNS about the management of education raised at this meeting were the same as in the 1970-80 period, highlighting the need to learn from past mistakes;

ACQUIRING and using own experts when dealing with Pacific education, creating flexible projects based on needs of individual countries;

LACK OF a human resource development plan from member countries under which education could be developed;

PRESSURE needed to be put on governments to realize the goal of basic education for all because concerns were similar throughout the Pacific Islands;

THE NEED for national and regional strategic plans;

THE MAJORITY of member countries expressed confidence in IOE to take a leadership role in regional educational programs;

DONORS — such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan — were commended for assisting USP in upgrading the "state-of-the-art" university communications system.

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