Breaking news

Public education systems in Pacific plagued by commercial activity, new EI report finds

“Commercial Activity in Pacific Education”, an Education International report examining the extent of privatisation and commercialisation in education in the region, was launched today at the conference of the Council of Pacific Education.

The scoping study by researchers Anna Hogan, Greg Thompson, Bob Lingard from Queensland University and Mesake Dakuidreketi from the University of the South Pacific, reveals the impact and consequences of education reform on schooling in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. 



Speaking at the Council of Pacific Education (COPE) conference held in Fiji, Govind Singh, COPE General Secretary, underlined that “this research points at many deeper unidentified issues plaguing the Pacific education system, including teacher recruitment, teacher morale, sustainability and financing. The issues raised are very serious – they must not be left here. Today conference participants will discuss next steps, strategising to defend public education from further attack.”  



David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International (EI), welcomed the research, stressing: “This research is both significant and highly concerning as it shows the expanding reach of education policies that promote the commercialisation of public education. EI commits to supporting all COPE unions to advocate for quality terms of employment, as it is only through raising the attractiveness of the profession that quality public education for all can be achieved.”



In addition to shedding light on teaching policies driven by corporate logic, the report raises important questions related to the extent of the influence of international organisations and donors in COPE education systems. According to Angelo Gavrielatos, Director of EI’s Global Response to the privatisation and commercialisation in and of education, “this scoping report potentially reveals just the tip of the iceberg… to better understand commercialisation trends in Pacific education it will be necessary to engage in further research, exploring in greater detail the extent and nature of influence of external organisations, donor countries and philanthropists.” 



The authors suggest multiple important areas for further research. These will be reviewed by union leaders during this week’s conference, and priorities for action will be determined.  






Disclaimer: All third-party opinions expressed via IASWI accounts linked to and from this page are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent those of IASWI or its affiliates. No copyright infringement is intended nor implied. To discuss this disclaimer or the removal of appropriate credit for materials of which you hold copyright please contact us. All the third party videos and contents found on is not hosted on our servers; all third party videos or contents are hosted on a third party site. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and news sources on the do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the IASWI or official policies of the IASWI. These posts are only generated for the purpose of information sharing on the labour related issues.