Ilia CHS and Turarana CHS took Ownership of New School Infrastructures

Ilia CHS and Turarana CHS took Ownership of New School Infrastructures

Illia Community High School in East Honiara and Turarana Community High School in Central Guadalcanal on Wednesday 28, February and Friday 1, March took ownership of their new school infrastructures that will improve access to quality education.

The school infrastructure includes classroom building, dormitory and ablution block funded by the Australian and New Zealand Governments, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD).

Officiating at Illia CHS handover ceremony are Australia High Commissioner His Excellency Rod Hilton, New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner Ms. Rebecca Williams and MEHRD Deputy Secretary Cooperate Services Coldrine Kolae.

At Turarana CHS, the handover ceremony was officiated by Australia Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Schoeffel, New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner Rebecca Williams, Guadalcanal Province Caretaker Premier Francis Iso and MEHRD Deputy Secretary Cooperate Services Coldrine Kolae.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Mr. Kolae expressed his gratitude to the Australia and New Zealand governments through the Education Sector Support Program (ESSP) for being a true education partner.

He said the handover of the school infrastructure facilities manifests the strong partnership between the three governments (Solomon Islands, Australia and the New Zealand Government).

He said MEHRD, with the support of education partners, has completed 81 percent of 48 projects while 8 percent are in progress. The remaining percentages are incomplete due to the geographical settings of the schools.

During the handover ceremonies, Mr. Kolae, emphasized the significant school infrastructure reforms the ministry is undertaking, one of which is the passing of the Education Act 2023.

He said the ministry is embarking on a plan to implement a legislative framework that emphasizes access to quality education, accountability, equality of opportunity, partnership and relevance.

From Left, Deputy Secretary Coldrine Kolae, New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner Rebecca Williams, Community Rep, Illia CHS Principal Patrick Ngidua and Australia High Commissioner Rod Hilton cutting the ribbon to officially open the classroom building

The Education Legislative Framework underpins a reform in our education system from early childhood, primary and secondary education.

He said it is through the partnership with Australia and New Zealand that the ministry is able to draft and passed the Education Act 2023.

He said the ministry is now working on the implementation plan to reach out to the key stakeholders for awareness.

“It must be noted that the Education Act 2023 is accompanied by its subsidiary documents called Regulation 2024, Education Funding Code 2024, Teaching and Learning Framework 2024 and Administrative Instructions 2024. The Administrative Instructions has replaced the Teachers Handbook,” DS Coldrine said.

In this instance, the legal framework requires all key stakeholders of schools in a class must enrol students, at a standard ratio of 1 teacher to 35 students. More importantly, inclusive and gender balance in classrooms encourages girls and boys to attend schools.

“This is a standard in accordance to our new education law, so schools and education providers are required to adhere to the provisions of the new Education Act and subsidiary legislations and policy guidelines. Therefore, it is our belief that the handing over of the classroom, dormitory and ablution block is responding to the standards we set,” he added.

Turarana Primary school students witnessing the handover of girls’ dormitory and ablution block.

He further adds that one of the important reforms is for all schools to have a proper learning environment. There must be conducive accommodation and secure privacy for our girls. Therefore, there must be toilets and sanitation are made available for all students in a school. In that, in the Education Act, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities must be constructed and be accessible to all children or students in schools. That is, in order for a school to be registered as required by the Education Act, WASH facilities are one of the paramount criteria to qualify ece centres and schools to be registered as a training institution.

Meanwhile, Mr Kolae urged the school board, education provider, teachers, students and parents of Illia CHS and Turarana CHS to take good care of the classroom and dormitory and ablution block so that the facilities can benefit the children or students for many years to come.


-MEHRD Press Release

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