BY SAMIE WAIKORI
SOLOMON Islands National University recently signed a MOU with Malaita Provincial Government to expand tertiary education to the province.
Similar MOUs have been signed with other provincial governments through their education authorities.
Under the MOU, a partnership was established for mutual cooperation to deliver Distance Flexible Learning (DFL) programme at Auki Community High School in Auki and Anorn Atomea PSS in North Malaita.
Areas of cooperation for both parties include; MPEA to provide resources like classrooms, identify teachers for tutorials and other requirements under the agreement.
SINU on the other hand will provide course materials, tutorial, technical supports, management support and other areas to deliver the DFL programme.
The MOU was also to officially affirm the establishment of the DFL programme which has been piloted in the province over the past years.
Chief Education Officer, Mr Andy Siarani said the MOU establishes a pathway for delivery of similar programmes in other regions of the province in future.
Meanwhile, DFL Manager under SINU, Mr Martin Otto said the aim of the MOU is to take the university closer to people because it’s very expensive to provide learning services only in Honiara.
Adding that under the MOU, tuition fees and other expenses will be less for students since university courses will be provided through distance learning in provinces.
“This is one of the strategies SINU has took onboard to try as much as possible to take its programs back to the rural areas where people can easily access them rather than coming only to Honiara that is costly,” he said.
Otto said SINU will do a lot of things for the people and the MOU is one of them that try to bring university programmes or education services to people in the provinces.
He said under the DFL programme for provinces, SINU will offer upgrading programme for high school dropouts; forms three, five and six.
Adding that eight courses will be provided under the programme; certificate in primary teaching, certificate in tropical agriculture, certificate in business entrepreneurship, diploma in business entrepreneurship, degree in business entrepreneurship and diploma in youth development.