Tuvaluan leaders are creating a future of equitable education

Australia and Tuvalu share a 30-year-strong diplomatic relationship with an enduring focus on education

The relationship is underpinned by a shared desire for both countries to support a strong future of professional educators and to improve the quality and inclusivity of Tuvalu’s education system.

Announced in 2022, the Tuvalu Australia Partnership for Quality Education (TAPQE) program, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), builds on the progress of the Australia Awards and Australia Support of Education in Tuvalu (ASET).

TAPQE is managed by Tetra Tech International Development Indo Pacific, on behalf of the Australian Government.

The Australia Awards Scholarship program has been hugely successful in Tuvalu and across the Pacific

Betty Vave and Rosie Paueli are Australia Awards Alumnae. With decades of teaching and education management experience, they are both now key program facilitators in TAPQE.

From left to right: Niuone Eliuta, Acting Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education, Youth, and Sports; TAPQE personnel: Betty Vave, Country Manager; David Raj, Finance and Administration Manager; Rosie Paueli, GEDSI, Inclusive Education, and Climate Change Officer.

Betty Vave is TAPQE Country Manager and is a trusted and authoritative voice in Inclusive Education in Tuvalu

She began her career as a primary school teacher 30 years ago, when the Australia Awards was just being established. Betty was inspired by her father’s teaching career but was also frustrated by the one-size-fits-all model of teaching she saw alienating some of her peers. She leverages her experience as a primary school teacher and school supervisor, as well as her specialist inclusivity in education qualifications to advocate for an equitable future for Tuvalu’s education system.

Rosie Paueli is TAPQE’s Inclusive Education, GEDSI and Climate Change Officer

Rosie is passionate about helping her community understand the importance of education without discrimination or bias. For Rosie, working with children has been one of the most rewarding experiences in her 20-year career. As a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in education, she takes great pride in the positive impact her work has on people’s lives.

Rosie has spent the last five years delivering the ASET program, a $4.26M bilateral partnership between the two governments.

Her advocacy as a Project Officer led to the establishment of Tuvalu’s first Inclusive Education Resource Centre in Funafuti. The centre provides facilities, teaching and equipment for students with disabilities, individual educational plans, and in-service training to teachers across Tuvalu. Under TAPQE, Rosie will continue her advocacy as the Inclusive Education, GEDSI, and Climate Change Officer.

The Australia Awards in Tuvalu, managed by Tetra Tech International Development for over 15 years is an important part of Australia’s strategy to build capacity through higher education. The ongoing achievements of Alumni like Betty and Rosie are testament to the program’s ability to create change in alignment with its aim of improving economic and social development.

TAPQE will build on ASET’s success to further advance Inclusive Education in Tuvalu

It will also expand its remit, with newly included outcomes that directly address diversity and climate change in education across literacy, numeracy, student pathways, and upskilling educators and policy makers.

TAPQE will complement other donor program education investments in Tuvalu including those by the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, and the Secretariat for Pacific Community.

Senator Penny Wong during her recent visit to New Caledonia and Tuvalu, pictured with Minister Kofe and members of the TAPQE team in a local school

Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong recently visited the centre and talk with Betty and Rosie about what TAPQE meant for skills development of teachers, principals and Ministry of Education personnel.

With foundations in the Tuvalu Education Strategy, TAPQE is designed to:

  • Amplify and expand on the success of ASET by enhancing the quality of education
  • Improve literacy and numeracy
  • Integrate Climate Change considerations into the heart of Education reform
  • Ensure boys, girls and children with disabilities achieve equal outcomes
  • Further support Ministry of Education systems and personnel to make education delivery in Tuvalu more inclusive, evidence-based, and efficient

Tetra Tech International Development is proud to work with DFAT as TAPQE’s Managing Contractor, continuing our support to the people of Tuvalu.

Read more about Tetra Tech International Development’s Education services. 

Tetra Tech International Development - Mitch Grummisch - Prince of Wales Award

Program Management Consultant, Tetra Tech International Development Indo-Pacific

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