About partnership
for odfl in the pacific

[Photo by Josaia Cakacaka on Unsplash]

About the project

Open, distance and flexible learning (ODFL) is an important channel for increasing education opportunities and outcomes. It is particularly relevant for the Pacific, given small dispersed remote populations and limited access to secondary and post-secondary opportunities in rural and outer island locations. Despite the importance of ODFL to the region and the immediate need to build capacity, there has been limited investment. The COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced the need for the Pacific to be well prepared for non-contact teaching and learning approaches outside traditional classroom-based practices.

Partnership for ODFL in the Pacific is a 5-year project (2020 – 2025) funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade to support enhancing capacity and efficiency of education sectors in the Pacific through greater use of innovative delivery mechanisms and technology. Commonwealth of Learning (COL), together with the Pacific Centre for Flexible and Open Learning for Development (PACFOLD), implements the project in the nine Commonwealth countries in the Pacific (Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu).

who we are

Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1987 to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.

Pacific Centre for Flexible & Open Learning for Development (PACFOLD) is a collaborative initiative between COL and the University of the South Pacific since 2013 to facilitate flexible and open learning for sustainable development in the Pacific region through advocacy, communication, innovation and research. The Centre for Flexible Learning at The University of the South Pacific has a strong and long track record in the adoption of open, flexible and distance learning methods in the Pacific region, and is best placed to coordinate the work of PACFOLD.

what we do

The project supports enhancing capacity and efficiency of education sectors in the Pacific through greater use of innovative delivery mechanisms and technology by focusing on the following four areas:

  1. Immediate response to COVID-19
  2. Supporting Youth Employment
  3. Building Resilience in Pacific Education Systems
  4. Building education lessons and insights

More details of the project can be found here.

How we work

The project engages with the Focal Points as an ongoing basis to strengthen in effectiveness and to ensure the national priorities are addressed. Focal Points are the COL’s primary contact in a particular country nominated by each Minister of Education. The mechanism for delivering the project is to work primarily through established relationship with PACFOLD which is in a best position to provide support for ODFL at a regional scale.

The project also acknowledges complex and volatile contexts with continually shifting needs, barriers and drivers of change, especially in response to COVID-19, and takes an adaptive management approach to achieve the high-level outcomes of the activity.