Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has expressed concern over the issue of school dropouts in the country saying the number of students who drop out from the national education system is “staggering”.
Figures provided by the National Examinations Standards Unit after last year’s exams indicated a huge number of students were unplaced and they were later regarded as school drop-outs.
According to the figures, a total of 4, 895 students were unplaced last year.
The Prime Minister says the figure is “staggering”.
“Out of the 2, 774 Form six students that took the exams in 2014, only 496 students obtained placement to do Form seven this year 2015. A total of 2, 278 did not get any placement and became school leavers. In total for the year 2014 alone 4, 895 school leavers were reported. One can just imagine the number of drop-outs of school leavers that existed in the education system in the past ten years. It is to be sure, quite a staggering figure.”
The Prime Minister also highlighted that a recent World Bank Study on Solomon Islands reported social and economic pressures resulting from high youth unemployment.
“Studies conducted by the World Bank in our country showed that there are already social and economic pressures from high youth unemployment and a predicted youth bulge with 60 percent of the population under 29 years of age and 50 percent of 15-24 years olds unemployed. This statistics indicate a dismal future for our youth population and should be of grave concern to al of us.”
The Prime Minister was speaking at the Don Bosco Bicentenary celebrations in Honiara on Monday this week.