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Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji. "Tuvalu" means "group of eight" referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands, but today it comprises four reef islands and five true atolls with a gross land area of just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi): Nukulaelae, Nanumea, Nanumaga, Niutao, Nui Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Vaitupu, Niulakita, Funafuti. In terms of physical land size, Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than the Vatican City—0.44 km²; Monaco—1.95 km² and Nauru—21 km². The population of Tuvalu is 10,619 (July 2012 estimate according to CIA's World Factbook) and its capital is Funafuti. It is the third-least populated independent country in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. It is also the second-smallest member by population of the United Nations.

History The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesian people. The islands came under Britain's sphere of influence in the late 19th century. The Ellice Islands were administered by Britain as part of a protectorate from 1892 to 1916 and as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony from 1916 to 1974. In 1974 the Ellice Islanders voted for separate British dependency status as Tuvalu, separating from the Gilbert Islands which became Kiribati upon independence. Tuvalu became fully independent within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1978.

Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Tuvalu.

Education in Tuvalu

For a general description of education in Tuvalu see Education:Tuvalu.


For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Tuvalu.

The country is heavily dependent on the USP for higher education delivered at a distance. Further growth and change in the provision of distance education is very much in the hands of the external groups that in a de facto manner define adult education for Tuvalu. There is no evidence that the Government of Tuvalu is currently in any position to define processes or regulate development of distance education outside of the services defined and provided by those groups. (1)

Development of an ICT curriculum is one of the priorities endorsed for inclusion in the Education and Training Sector Master Plan (ETSMP). The Ministry of Education and Sports initiated the development of an ICT curriculum for Tuvalu schools in recognition of the significance of ICT in the modern world. The young generation of Tuvalu must be ICT oriented and ‘computer literate’, and leaders in today’s digital economy. The Ministry of Education believes that ICT can act as a medium to bring the outside world into the classroom, through photos, animation or video clips, thereby immersing pupils in real life contexts. This will in turn model their perception on a more concrete and up to date understanding of the real world ‘out there’, thus enabling them to visualise concepts in a more constructive approach. (2)

OLPC Tuvalu - Deployments in Tuvalu have started with 150 laptops contributed by OLPC Australia. Localisation projects have been opened on the OLPC Pootle server for the Tuvaluan language. For updates see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_Tuvalu (2) However, this project does not appear to have had any significant impact on Tuvalu to date. (3)

Quality procedures

Internet in Tuvalu

Broadband Internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants (2009) - Fixed 2.93, Mobile 0

Internet hosts (2010) - 109,478

Internet users (2008) - 4,200

Internet users per 100 inhabitants (2001) - 10.434

Computers per 100 inhabitants (2002) - 5.9 (3)

The Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation (TCC) is a monopoly provider of telecommunications in the country, providing satellite-based links between the islands and the rest of the world. Internet access, even on Vaitupu, is slow and unreliable. As late as 2008, Tuvalu’s entire national bandwidth was equivalent to a single premium home broadband connection in Australia. Fortunately, the USP has secured an exemption from the TCC monopoly and is able to provide its own satellite-based telecommunication services through USPNet. The 2006 upgrade to USPNet increased the available bandwidth. (3)

Internet in Education

Provision of the internet for education is primarily through the USP satellite system. (1) The 2006 upgrade to USPNet provided students in Tuvalu with increased electronic access. (3)

Copyright law in Tuvalu

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in Tuvalu

Tuvalu is a participant in the Commonwealth of Learning’s Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) project. VUSSC is actively engaged in the development of OER materials for use among member states. (1)

Two Learning for Content (L4C) workshops were held on Vaitupu from 25 November to 2 December 2008. The workshops were sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, Wikieducator, the Commonwealth of Learning and Otago Polytechnic. These workshops resulted in the creation of Wikieducator pages on Tuvalu education. In addition, there are significant OER components in the OLPC Oceania and VUSSC projects. (3)

National OER initiatives

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives


2. ReVica/VISCED page for Tuvalu (http://virtualcampuses.eu/index.php/Tuvalu)

3. ICDE Country Profile for Tuvalu (http://www.icde.org/projects/regulatory_frameworks_for_distance_education/country_profiles/tuvalu/)


1. ICDE Report: 'Regulatory frameworks for distance education: A pilot study in the Southwest Pacific/South East Asia region - Final report'. December 2011. Prepared by the Project Team (Team leader, Dr. Rosalind James) (accessed at http://www.icde.org/filestore/Regulatory_Framework/RegulatoryFrameworksforDEfinalreport2.pdf on Wednesday 11th July 2012)

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