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Change in South Pacific Secondary Examinations

The Secretariat of the Pacific Board of Educational Assessment is a pan-national authority based in Suva, Fiji, that recognizes qualifications and provides quality assurance of education in its participating countries, which include Tonga, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. It also administers several external examinations, including the South Pacific Form Seven Certificate (SPFSC) and the former Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate (PSSC).

The South Pacific Form Seven Certificate was introduced in 2014 to replace the New Zealand University Bursaries Examinations in the Pacific Island Countries. This certificate was used for admission to post-secondary study, to confirm completion of secondary school, and for use by employers to determine suitability for employment. The goal of SPFSC is to provide a regionally and internationally-recognized qualification that is specific to the South Pacific. The individual exams for the first SPFSC are being administered throughout 2015.

The Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate (PSSC) was an external examination taken at the end of the twelfth grade in Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, and at the end of thirteenth grade in Samoa. In 2012, these countries voted to nationalize the PSSC, and starting in 2013, it will be administered by each country and not by the Secretariat.

Samoa dropped the PSSC and introduced its own secondary school leaving examination called the Samoa Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSSC) which was first administered in 2013. The SSSC has many elements of the PSSC, but has added Samoan language, music and physical education.