BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
CHILDREN’S interest in education is progressing in Solomon Islands, yet many schools lack professional teachers and infrastructure, it is reported.
Solomon Islands has joined the world to push for quality education for all by 2030 through the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) and other relevant stakeholders in the country.
The target area under the SGDs that Solomon Islands pledge to address is Goal 4 – “Quality Education” and that is to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Achieving these priority areas is becoming a challenge lately particularly regarding conditions which schools around Solomon Islands face such as; infrastructure, less professional teachers, classrooms and children still walk for distance to learn.
It was interesting to note that the Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Solomon Islands is flooded with children nowadays in private institutions, with few under government.
Within Honiara city, ECE school children are lucky to have easy accessibility to transportation while outside of town children walk distances by themselves for learning – this indicates interest for learning.
Outside of Honiara boundary is an ECE institution named Friends of Brilliant Star School based around Alligator creek, Henderson area.
Brilliant Star provides ECE education but does not have trained teachers; it offers education for children around Henderson, Tenaru and as far as Foxwood area.
Brilliant Star has two teachers, both on voluntary basis due to lack of funding from the national government through MEHRD.
At the moment, Brilliant Star urgently needs monetary support to pay their two ECE teachers.
A statement from the school said, “Brilliant Star has an urgent need to support the wages of 2 ECE teachers. The Education Authority in Solomon Islands does not support ECE teacher’s wages.”
They said donation of $10, $20, $50 or $100 per fortnight will allow them to sustain school operations.
They add, the school is new with hardly any resource to cater for the needs of its student, but for the time being they get resources and trainings from Australian volunteers.
The school is optimistic that if it can be registered the Government will pay for the teachers’ wages.
Meanwhile, the Friends of Brilliant Star School is a not-for-profit association established to raise funds and collect equipment to support the school.
The founding members are spread over Queensland Australia with diverse group of people passionate about assisting education development of children here.