BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
NEARLY 80,000 primary school students dropped out last year, and lack of secondary schools is being blamed as a major factor, it is reported.
Asset Manager for the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) Mr Henson Makoani said 77,969 primary school students out of 130,000 were affected according to a 2017 report.
“It is very obvious that 77,969 students are leaving school after primary level.
“Looking at the data the key factor would be limited access to secondary schools, and we need more secondary schools for year seven to nine.”
With the huge number of school dropout in both primary and secondary level, the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) also revealed there is a high rate of youth unemployment.
MWYCFA reports stated each year 18,000 people, 14,000 of whom are youths, compete for only 4,000 jobs available in the country.
With the figure, Director for Youth Development, MWYCFA, Mr Andrew Tipoki said such report gives serious concern to Solomon Islands Government particularly the Youth Development Division.
The MWYCFA is partnering with the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) in finding ways to deal with high rate of youth unemployment in Solomon Islands.
According to the education ministry’s 2017 report data, Solomon Islands has 1,300 schools, 600 of which are primary schools. Last year there were 130,000 primary school students enrolled.
In the secondary division, Makoani said there were 240 secondary institutions with a student enrolment of 52,031; principal and teachers account to over 9,580.
With the United Nations charter, Solomon Islands has its mission under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation.
The government is encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation with effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking.
With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030 which includes young people.