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By Agnes M. Abrau

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Feb. 11) — Education ministers from 14 Pacific countries recently met and discussed ways to address issues concerning education in the region.

Minister of Education Mario Katosang said the ministerial meeting held in Apia, Samoa also discussed priorities in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s program called Education for All.

The meeting, held last week, was attended by 14 ministers of education from various countries in the Pacific. It was sponsored by UNESCO.

Katosang said Pacific countries have their own education master plan based on UNESCO’s six main goals on early childhood education, gender equity, quality of education, teacher’s training and adult education.

"Each island country should prioritize these main goals. In Palau, (our) priorities are quality of education and teacher’s training," Katosang said.

He said the European Union provided a grant of $8 million to the Pacific countries to ensure that the education master plan is implemented.

A technical support office called Pacific Regional Initiatives for the Delivery of Basic Education, or PRIDE, is based in the University of South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

"The PRIDE office will provide technical support to implement the education master plan to make sure that they address the six major goals of UNESCO," Katosang said.

February 11, 2004

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