Pacific Economic Update, March 2024: Back on Track? The Imperative of Investing in Education

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In 2023, growth in the Pacific islands (PIC-11) decelerated but remained robust at 5.5 percent—about two and a half times the long-term average. Fiji’s output surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2023 despite a notable deceleration, with growth rates halving from 20 percent in 2022 to eight percent in 2023. The PIC-11, excluding Fiji, experienced a noteworthy rebound of 2.7 percent growth in 2023, after a 0.5 percent output contraction in 2022. The trajectory of accelerated and sustainable growth in Pacific Island countries depends on a workforce that is well educated and equipped with enhanced skills and capabilities. Boosting education and skills is essential for long-term growth and poverty reduction in the Pacific Island countries. While multiple factors influence learning, once a child enters school, teachers have the largest impact. A robust body of evidence guides policymakers in improving teaching quality and ensuring that all young children acquire strong foundational skills. This report outlines a three-pronged program of action based on this evidence: attracting and recruiting effective teachers, enhancing existing teachers’ capacity, and motivating greater teacher effort. Recognizing that 54 percent of teachers expected to teach in 2035 are already recruited, the report emphasizes a special focus on enhancing the capacity of existing teachers. It provides examples of rigorously evaluated interventions, such as structured pedagogy and access to pre-recorded lectures by highly rated teachers. Implementing these recommendations will aid regional countries in accelerating learning, allowing children and societies to achieve their aspirations.
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World Bank. 2024. Pacific Economic Update, March 2024: Back on Track? The Imperative of Investing in Education. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY-NC 3.0 IGO.
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