1 June 2022


Fiji co-chairs with Belgium a dialogue on financing education 

The Transforming Education Summit will take place in New York in September 2022 linked to the General Assembly with a view to elevating education to the top of the global political agenda and to maximizing public awareness and engagement.

There will be five Action Tracks for deliberation at the summit: 

  • Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools:
  • Teachers, teaching and the teaching profession:
  • Learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development
  • Digital learning and transformation
  • Financing of education

Fiji is Co-Lead the Financing Education Action Track with Belgium.  In leading up to the Summit three global consultations are taking place, the first of which was held yesterday where a number of countries and global education partners talked about the issues facing education today including the importance of adequate financing and spending efficiency. The discussion also focused on importance of global commitment to contribute a percentage of action on climate change action finance to education in order to develop sustainable future.

The consultation brought out some possible things to consider such as increasing tax to GDP, debt crisis and severity of debt in many countries, looking at education in the longer term to see its actual return on investment nationally, amongst other things.

In his opening remarks the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations H.E. Dr Satyendra Prasad emphasized the need to look at innovative education financing in the face of the impact of the global pandemic and climate change related disasters. He called the participants to think about what form the transformation may take.

In making Fiji’s contribution to the consultation the Permanent Secretary of Education, Heritage and Arts Dr. Anjeela Jokhan emphasized that Small Island Developing States in the Pacific were constantly faced with the challenges of climate change with rising sea levels and frequent and intensive cyclones. More recently the Covid pandemic has not spared the SIDS, especially Fiji. Countries with their small economies are affected each time a natural disaster strikes.

As a small Island State Fiji invests approximately 7% of its GDP in education which is above the agreed global target of 6%. For low and middle income countries it ranges from 3.5% to 4.3% GDP. This demonstrates Fiji’s serious commitment to education despite the economic difficulties over the past few years.

In preparation for the Summit in September there will be a national consultation in Fiji to gather views from stakeholders in Education which will result in Fiji’s position on transforming education.

The Transforming Education Summit in New York in September which will be attended by leaders of the countries. Education for all has suffered a major setback as a result of the pandemic and uneven recovery. The UN TES is an opportunity for world leaders to agree to a global plan to accelerate SDG 4. 

  Dr Anjeela Jokhan

  The Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage and Arts