BY JARED KOLI
Four vocational training centres in the country yesterday took delivery of new land and water transports funded by the Government of Australia through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
The training centres are Afutara Adventist Vocational School in Malaita province, Tabaka Rural Training Center in New Georgia, Western province, Batuna Vocational Training center in Marovo, Western Province and Don Bosco Technical Training Institute in Honiara.
A 15-seater bus was handed over to Don Bosco and 60 Horse powered Outboard Motor Engine and 23-feet ray boat for each of the three Rural Training Centres (RTC) – Afutara, Batuna and Tabaka.
Since 2014, APTC supports training coalition and the four vocational training institutions are National Training Provider Partners of APTC.
The transportation project which cost SBD$900, 000 was delivered to principals of the four vocational training institutes by Australian High Commission to Solomon Islands His Excellency Dr Lachlan Strahan, witnessed by APTC Country Director Abigail Chang, Australia High Commission and APTC staff in a handover ceremony hosted at the Don Bosco Technical Training Institute in East Honiara.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, H.E Dr Strahan said the 15-seater bus and 60 Horse powered outboard motor engines and boats for each of the three rural training centers will serve the institutions on several purposes.
“The transport that we are handing over will serve several purposes simultaneously, one is to help with the daily operation of the training centers, secondly it will become part of the training programme. The other thing is to build and establishing links between training centers and industries,” H.E Dr Stratan said.
He said rural training centers play a central role in driving economic development, skills and knowledge, and also about improving the self-sufficiency and productivity of rural communities.
“Australia has a long-standing support for education programme in Solomon Islands from elementary level, primary level all the way to tertiary education.
“I must say I am proud of what APTC does because it is at the frontline of delivering those important skills in the vocational sector. Since it was established in 2007, over 2000 Solomon Islanders have gone through APTC courses.
APTC Country Director Abigail Chang said through training coalition with training provider partners, APTC support rural training centers to deliver quality trainings to meet the needs of workplace.
Principals of the four vocational training centers expressed their acknowledgement and sincere thanks to the Government of Australia and APTC.
“On behalf of Tabaka RTC I humbly accept this gift. Today is a special day for us, it is a milestone for education partnership, thank you for your continuous support for vocational education.
“This shows your government recognition and commitment for education in Solomon Islands. This transport will reduce our challenges, and will really assist us in cases of emergencies, banking and other purposes ,” said Michael Dive the Principal of Tabaka RTC.
Batuna RTC Principal Ibi Drelly also acknowledged the government of Australia and said this is a great vision to support capacity building of Solomon Islands in the education sector.