A Minimum Service Standards (MSS) document to guide the work of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Centres was launched today in Apia, at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture Fale at Malifa.
The document is designed to ensure that every ECE Centre provides the proper services for the safety and early education for young children.
The Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, Tuimaugaoalii Kazumasa Shibuta, and the President of the National Council of Early Childhood Education for Samoa, Ms Kuinimeri Tamata officially cut the ribbon to unwrap the documents.
The Minister of Education, Magele Mauiliu Magele, delivered the keynote address where he reiterated that the Samoan Government is serious about education, and the empowerment that comes from education as a transformative tool to change lives and avoid poverty.
“Education is a basic human need that equips individuals with the skills and knowledge to live better lives that underpins human development,” said Magele.
For early childhood education, the Minister said figures supplied by UNESCO showed that the participation rate in early childhood education in Samoa is 34 percent. Vanuatu leads the Pacific with 61 percent.
But he said the Government of Samoa is aiming for a 100 percent participation by the year 2030 to adhere with the draft Framework for Action in Education 2030, which was recently adopted by all countries.
He said a target of the framework asks to ensure that by 2030, girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development care and pre-primary education as preparation for primary level education.
“The journey starts right now with the launch of the Minimum Service standard for Early Childhood Education. The Government will ensure that by 2030, every child in Samoa receives quality early childhood education delivered by quality teachers,” said the Minister.
“We are aiming for a hundred percent participation rate and with the help of our development partners we can achieve it.”
The Minister also highlighted the fact that Samoa is well within international benchmarks with its current expenditure for the education sector at 5.06% of the GDP and 17.06% of total expenditure programs.
He said the recommended education budget worldwide should be between 4% and 6% of GDP or between 15% and 20% of public expenditure in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals for Education.
The MSS document was compiled through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC); the National Council of Early Childhood Education in Samoa (NCECES); the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Samoa and stakeholders.