Encouraging inroads to “second chance learning”

IN a week when several prominent figures in the Solomon Islands, including some in Parliament and the TSI have had a critical lens on reported government spending and payments to retiring Members of Parliament MPs), it was a refreshing change to learn of the success being achieved locally by READ SI.

To add to what the largely volunteer NGO has achieved since its inception in 2015, I will quote from the Solomon Star newspaper article published today, 29 November 2018.

“Resources Educational Advance Development in Solomon Islands (READ SI) is a local non-government organisation (NGO) working together with other partners to get more reading materials into primary schools and communities in Solomon Islands.

“The NGO was established in 2015 purposely to provide a second chance learning mainly for adults and youths who have missed out from education.

“One of its officers Martha Maeli said what they normally do is to educate them using several resources they have to help them know how to read and write.

“For youths, it’s like we give them a second chance to move on in their future,” she said.

“Mrs Maeli said since 2017 until now they have reached 274 villages across the nice provinces with a total of 541 teachers and 2,825 students.

“She said so far 13 informational books have been written by the READ SI with 5,000 of them have been printed and 6,100 reading books.”

“Another officer Revenah Ilala said their role is to bring with those resources down to the communities and educate people who want to learn more about reading to help their standard of living and development.

“Ms Ravenah said when they reached down to the communities, they have learnt that students attending the primary schools even lacks proper reading and they have also joined and learn a lot from our lessons.

“This literacy program also helps those attending the primary to catch up on their level of education especially to be able to read and write,” she said.

“In their 2018 quarterly report headed by Director Joyce Boykin READ SI is currently working together with the Ministry of Education to get more reading materials into primary schools with a goal to reach 300 schools and villages with books to improve reading.

“The National Literacy Campaign started last year and has now been to more than 270 villages and 5 settlements since April 2017.

“The program also included at the Rove Prison Service where inmates teaching reading to other inmates in six cell clocks.

“Mrs Maeli said READ SI is currently sponsored five literacy classes in Honiara in areas like Borderline, April Valley, Gilbert Camp, Lau Ridge and Tasahe B.

“She said they work is just on voluntary bases which comes with great challenge especially when leaving the family behind for 3 weeks.

“However she said it their passion to change the lives of people to be able to know where they want to be and especially to change someones life.”

Copyright @ 2018, Solomon Star news.

I express my gratitude to READ SI for the sterling work already done and for the ongoing progress in aiding children and others to read (and advancing literacy) throughout the Solomon Islands.

I also would like to thank the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the initial direct aid to READ SI enabling the NGO to get off the ground.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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