New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) sought to explore opportunities to make use of new technologies to deliver education services and meet labour market demands for technical skills as outlined in the New Zealand Aid Program Strategic Priorities 2015-2019. The integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) into the learning process can support the development of 21st century skills and expand learning opportunities. In the Pacific, the use of ICTs in education has the potential to overcome some of the constraints caused by distance, lack of resources and low teaching quality but most countries in the Pacific are not well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that these technologies afford. MFAT sought to invest in infrastructure that has the potential to expand education opportunities throughout the Pacific. The infrastructure in and of itself is not sufficient to improve learning outcomes and it will have limited effect unless ICT is seen as a tool to achieve education objectives within a wider education program. As an increasing number of donor partners and private sector players are involved in the development of ICT capability and education sector support across the Pacific, MFAT wanted to identify where they would be best placed to support their Pacific partners to improve access to and quality of education through the use of ICTs.
The project aimed to identify possible areas of intervention and opportunities to improve access to, and quality of education in the Pacific through the use of information communication technology (ICT). This project supports MFAT’s intention to explore opportunities to make use of new technologies to deliver education services and meet labour market demands for technical skills as outlined in the New Zealand Aid Programme Strategic Priorities 2015-2019. The outcome of the project was to enable MFAT to articulate a clear position on where and how ICT investments in the education sector could be provided to support Pacific Island countries to achieve their strategic education goals.