Although school enrolment is high and most countries are on track to achieve universal primary education, access to schools in remote and isolated areas remains problematic. A lack of suitably qualified teachers and inadequate instruction materials, limited infrastructure and sanitation facilities, combined with low levels of parent-community involvement are key barriers to improve primary education outcomes. Weaknesses in education management and information systems resulting in poor education planning and budgeting also impact negatively on primary education. Other key barriers included absence of policies promoting multi-grade and mother-tongue teaching, and there is a lack of strategies to meet the needs of out-of-school children with disabilities. Preschool attendance rates are low and in most Pacific island countries fewer than half of all children attend formal early learning opportunities.
From 2013 to 2017, the Education programme will build on past successes to achieve the following results for children: