Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs

Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.

“There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in education to support Pacific learners succeed. These practices are even more important during the COVID-19 recovery and I want to make sure we are supporting Pacific learners and families to stay engaged in education during this time,” Jenny Salesa says.

The Pacific Education Innovation Fund, of $28.5m over four years, is a new fund for educators, early learning services, schools, tertiary education providers and community groups to support new innovative practices that respond to the curriculum and wellbeing needs of Pacific learners which have emerged or been made worse by COVID-19.

“The purpose of the fund is to support comprehensive, innovative, collaborative, life-long practises across the education system so that our Pacific learners can continue to succeed during COVID-19.

“In 2020, $ 3.5m will go towards supporting new and original wellbeing and curriculum initiatives in Pacific education. In addition $2.5m is available for innovative initiatives in Pacific bilingual and immersion education in 2020. This will give us valuable insights into how our education system can more creatively respond to the needs of Pacific learners and their families,” Jenny Salesa said. 

“Our Pacific Support Fund, announced last week, also offers new opportunities for Pacific learners. Alongside a number of new apprenticeship initiatives, it provides access to on-site learning services and ongoing educational and training pathways to help students transition into the workforce.”

Applications for the 2020 Innovation Fund open today, 23 September, and close on 6 November. Pacific groups, representatives from education providers in the early learning, schooling or tertiary education sector, researchers, academics, providers, and community organisations from across New Zealand are encouraged to apply.

“I would like to thank our dedicated parents and families, our educators, principals, and researchers for your ongoing commitment and work towards quality outcomes for our learners and Pacific young people.  I know that there is much more to do and I am committed to continuing to work with our communities as the Pacific Education Action Plan 2020-2030 is being implemented,” Jenny Salesa said.

NOTE: This funding is part of the $80.2m investment in Pacific Education through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, and supports the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030.

More information on the Innovation Fund, including information on how to apply, can be found here

www.education.govt.nz/pacific