Arnon Atomea Scaling Up to ICT – Linking Education Opportunities to Northern Region Youths

The Arnon Atomea provincial secondary school in Malu’u, Malaita province, is now expanding into information and communication technology (ICT), giving young people in the northern region a chance to pursue their educational goals.

For many years, when it comes to educational prospects, young people from Malu’u, Lau/Mbaelelea constituency, and even Baegu/Asifola constituency have long traveled to Honiara. It’s because Honiara serves as the hub for several training institutions, including USP and the Solomon Islands National University.

Such a movement is linked to numerous difficulties facing young people and the guidance. For instance, knowing that the cost of living in Honiara is too high has become a hardship for them in terms of their living expenses and social welfare. 

As a result, Arnon Atomea school is stepping up to address this issue by creating an ICT hub and inviting USP and the Solomon Islands National University to establish at the school so that young people in the northern region can have access to the same opportunities centralized in Honiara.

As of right now, the Ministry of Communication and Aviation, Malaita Province and Solomon Islands National University, all support the school by providing WIFI, satellite discs, and three computer labs. With 10 students, the Arnon Atomea started the first-ever form seven arts this year, and form seven science will be the next soon. It is run by the University of the South Pacific Solomon Islands campus.

Additionally, enrollment in the Distant Flexible Learning (DFL) program offered by the Solomon Islands National University at the Arnon Atomea provincial secondary school is growing. Now, young people in Malu’u and across northern region will share the same opportunities of education, trainings, and employment available in Honiara.

The principal of Arnon Atomea school, Henry Bare, stated that the achievements and opportunities provided by the Arnon Atomea provincial secondary school in Malu’u are commendable and have the potential to have a significant impact on the educational prospects of young people in Malaita province’s northern region.

He added, by expanding into information and communication technology (ICT) and establishing partnerships with institutions such as the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Solomon Islands National University, the school is bringing much-needed educational opportunities closer to home, addressing the challenges faced by young people who had to travel to Honiara for further education and training.

“These achievements and opportunities are transformative for young people in Malu’u and the northern region. It offers a chance to pursue their educational goals without the burden of significant expenses and geographical barriers.”

“This initiative has the potential to positively impact the lives of individuals, families, and the community as a whole, by creating a more accessible and inclusive educational environment.”

Mr Bare further explained saying the goal behind bringing these opportunities to the remote level, is to address the educational limitations and difficulties faced by young people in the northern region, particularly in Malu’u and surrounding constituencies.

According to Nason Nunufia, a youth club leader at Raubabate community in Malu’u, said Arnon Atomea provincial secondary school’s collaboration with these institutions is truly a milestone for not only the young people in Malu’u, but also for the northern region as a whole.

He adds that such collaboration will provides the opportunity and change for young people to showcase their potential and abilities to pursue further academic as well as skill-set trainings, and it helps reduce parental costs, especially with relatives living in Auki and in Honiara,” he said.

“I strongly believe as a youth, it will provide maximum benefit in terms of student research as well as access to other programs at USP, SINU and even other online programs available. Given this opportunity at our door step would be truly a blessing to our region,” Nason said.

Arnon Atomea is a provincial secondary school under the Malaita Education Authority. The school was established by the late Arnon Atomea of Manakwai village, who was also the first Reverend of the South Sea Evangelical Church in the Solomon Islands.

The school was established with a vision to ensure all school-age children are enrolled and given the education they need to live independently in a setting where learning takes place in a secure, welcoming, stimulating, and joyful environment.

Furthermore, they envision that their communities taking an active role in the school’s development in physical, spiritual, and social, and through the upskilling of teachers and the Board of Management, the school acting as a catalyst for healthy community growth.

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