A healthy and educated populace is critical to economic growth and poverty reduction. Australia is assisting Nauru deliver better health and education services by improving the quality of education and primary health care, as well as addressing health issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. Maintaining a strong focus on improved education outcomes and tertiary scholarships will expand employment opportunities for the Nauruan population both domestically through government, private and state-owned enterprises and throughout the Pacific region.
Nauru Improved Health
Up to $5.5 million, 2016-2017
The Nauru Improved Health Initiative supports Nauru's Health Sector Strategy to deliver improvements in health outcomes. It focuses on: strengthening health system management, in particular budget prioritisation, strategic planning, infrastructure redevelopment and improved health statistics; reduced prevalence of non-communicable diseases and sexually transmitted infections through more effective preventative and public health programs; improving maternal and child health outcomes by addressing child nutrition and improving access to quality natal care.
Australian support funds senior management roles in the Ministry of Health, as well as supply of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, assistance with expatriate nurses' salaries and visits by medical specialists.
In addition, a gender-based violence counsellor/specialist, funded through the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM), is working to improve counselling and support service delivery and increase community awareness on domestic violence and child protection issues. Other activities include training health workers and developing protocols and standard operating procedures to identify and provide minimum service standards when responding to domestic violence.
Nauru Improved Education
Up to $4.2 million, 2016-2017
The Nauru Improved Education Initiative supports Nauru's Education Sector Strategy to deliver education pathways and skills suited to local and regional markets. It focuses on: improving quality and increasing the numbers of teaching staff; improving access to quality primary and secondary school education; ensuring higher student retention rates and education attainment levels; and improving access to relevant high quality tertiary, technical and vocational education services.
Australia is working with Nauru's Department of Education to improve the number and quality of teaching staff, and to increase enrolment and retention rates of students. The overarching goal is to provide better opportunities for Nauruans through skills-building that is relevant to both the local and international employment markets.
Australia is providing funds to employ additional teachers and improve internet connections in schools. A new building for the University of the South Pacific in Nauru will be completed within the 'Learning Village' that will also provide a new national library and teaching rooms for other tertiary institutions. A technical and vocational education and training (TVET) curriculum will be implemented to provide more internationally recognised TVET certificates and improve future job prospects of students.