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Education

Stability

Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest learning disruption of education systems in history, which is directly affecting stability and security in the Indo-Pacific. Education is critical to stability, as the greater a country’s ‘educational endowment’, the lower is the risk of conflict.  Societally, each additional year of education completed reduces the risk of conflict by around 20 per cent1.  This page provides an overview of how Australia’s education partnership support the stability pillar of Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response. The information below outlines key related initiatives and summaries of programming and related documents.

Related initiatives

Australian Strategic Partnerships in Remote Education (ASPIRE)

$459,217, 2020-2021

The Australian Strategic Partnerships in Remote Education (ASPIRE) will convene Australian experience and expertise in open, distance and online learning to facilitate learning continuity and to enhance educational access and equity in the Indo-Pacific region. Prioritising the conditions in the Pacific, Timor-Leste and Indonesia, ASPIRE will draw on a broad range of Australian capabilities in education, international development, research, broadcasting and digital media. ASPIRE supports Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response and will respond flexibly to alleviating the disruptions COVID‑19 has brought to the education sector, in collaboration with in-country and whole of government partners.  

Education Programs for Continuity of Learning in the Indo-Pacific

$33,636, 2020-2021

As a part of the Australian Strategic Partnership in Remote Education (ASPIRE), DFAT is supporting the broadcasting of additional Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) educational content, which doubles to eighteen the education programs that are available to 35 Indo-Pacific countries and territories.  The ABC content provides crucial assistance in complementing formal education content in partner countries. Content is suitable for early years, primary, and early secondary education across a mix of subject areas, and will be available for a period of two years.

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development

$8.56 million, 2011-2022

Australia, together with USAID and World Vision US, is a founding partner in All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR). ACR is an ongoing series of competitions and prizes that leverage science and technology to source, test, and disseminate innovative solutions to improve the literacy skills of early grade learners in developing countries. ACR builds private and public partnerships, leveraging co-investment to extend its reach. In its current (third) round, ACR is focused on improving learning for children with disabilities, developing materials in underserved languages and engaging families and communities in foundational literacy. The tools and resources created under this partnership are supporting remote learning during global COVID-19 school disruptions.  Since the partnership began ACR has:

  • Reached more than 600,000 early grade learners in 24 countries
  • Distributed over 1 million mother tongue instruction and reading materials in more than 140 languages, including sign languages and created more than 5,000 braille reading materials
  • Funded more than 80 innovative solutions
  • Published 20 research and evaluation reports
  • Collaborated with over 30 organisations.

To learn more go to the ACR grant and prize competition webpage.

Related links

Related documents*

Name of document Year published
Annual report All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development 2019

Australian Council for Educational Research

$4.3 million, 2014-2023

Together with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), DFAT is a founding partner of the ACER Centre for Global Education Monitoring (GEM Centre). GEM Centre tools and resources cover best practice in teaching, remote learning and learning assessment, which each support adaptive COVID-19 responses including safe returns to school and learning challenges. The GEM Centre works to strengthen national systems' capacity to implement and use educational assessments to drive policy change and system reform. ACER is a world leader in education analytics and the GEM Centre provides developing countries with access to high level technical expertise to improve education systems in our region and globally.

Related links

Education Analytics Service

$3.6 million, 2016-2023

The Education Analytics Service (EAS) is a service facility that provides DFAT with access to technical expertise for analytics, advisory support and professional development in education. One of the EAS's key tasks is to undertake a longitudinal study of DFAT's teacher development programs in Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Laos.  Teacher development is critical to effective remote and accelerated learning and related schooling adaptations due to COVID-19.  The three-country study reflects each program-specific context, but broadly seeks to answer the question: "to what extent does Australian investment improve teaching quality and improve student learning?"

Related documents*

Name of document Year published
Conceptual Framework 2017
Timor-Leste Interim Report 2019

Research on Improving Systems of Education

$9.86 million, 2016-2020

Australia is a partner with the UK and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program. RISE is funding world class analysis in seven countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia & Nigeria) that aims to build an evidence base on what works to improve education systems, including insights on barriers to reform. Australia's investment in RISE ensures a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.  RISE is providing valuable evidence and guidance to inform decisions and education sector responses to COVID-19.

Related links

Education Cannot Wait

$10 million, 2017-2020

ECW is a global fund dedicated to supporting education in emergency and crisis contexts. ECW has the capacity to respond quickly through a First Emergency Response Window (FER) and to support transition to recovery and long term development through Multi Year Resilience programs (MYRP). It provides an acceleration facility to support research and data collection and promote best practices and innovation. ECW initiated a rapid response to COVID-19 through its First Emergency Response (FER) window, providing funding for emergency education to over 30 countries, including Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Syria.

Related links

1 World Bank (1999) ‘Doing well out of war
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