TWO West Kwaio communities in Malaita Province yesterday hosted Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners.
The two top diplomats, who are in Malaita, visited an early education project in Osa’ania and Sinasu communities to celebrate International Literacy Day.
According to the NZ High Commission, the Coalition for Education in Solomon Islands (COESI) has received grant funding through the Education Sector Support Program (ESSP) to implement the ‘Skul Blong Yumi Long Ples’ project, which aims to improve children’s reading and numeracy in early childhood education.
The project is delivered in partnership with Literacy Association of Solomon Islands (LASI) and will encourage communities to use a locally-developed early childhood curriculum, provide training to parents and teachers to improve children’s reading and numeracy skill, and will deliver practical, functional models of community education to engage disadvantaged groups.
In welcoming the visitors to the community, Chief Patrick Ainigwaru said the community would plant a sprouted coconut and apple seedling by the new classroom as a reminder of their commitments to literacy and early childhood education.
Speaking at the event, NZ High Commissioner Georgina Roberts shared that International Literacy Day is a chance to come together to see why it is important to read and write, noting that it is a way to learn about the world around us.
She acknowledged the significant role teachers and parents play in supporting education.
“Mifala provide funding, but the most important thing stap inside iufala community lo hia,” Roberts told the villagers.
“Tagio tumas Osa’ania and Sinasu communities for your warm welcome and sharing your time with us!” she added.
The ESSP is a partnership between the governments of Australia and New Zealand to improve access to quality basic education for all children in Solomon Islands.