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Solomon Islands primary pupils are performing well regionally

Solomon Islands primary pupils are performing well in the regional Pacific Islands and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) compared to other Pacific Islands countries.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development Dr Franco Rodie announced in his keynote address to officially open the Sixth National Education Conference at Gizo in Western Province today.

Dr Rodie says primary pupils are performing well especially in English and have performed exceptionally well in numeracy. 

“National Examination results administered to Year 9, 11 and 12 students show that Solomon Islands students are meeting proficiency levels set by the Ministry in terms of curriculum outcomes, but are struggling in some subjects such as year 9 mathematics and in science at year 11 level.” 

He says young people in the country today have more education opportunities and have attained higher education levels than their parents.

Dr Rodie adds the demand for both school and tertiary education have been increasing steadily at a much higher rate compared to a decade ago.

“In the past decade, our country with the support of our government, communities and development partners have made large investments in education and we have achieved impressive growth in enrolment rates. Increased number of qualified and trained teachers, curriculum materials and students learning outcomes,” Dr Rodie says.

He admits, over the years, he observed that critics over the country’s education system never ceased to pinpoint the weaknesses or shortfalls of the system in the media.

“When we falter to support our teachers within the specific target dates with their salaries, they criticize us heavily.

When teaching postings are put out, to notify teachers, the critics include teachers who dislike being posted to a new school,” he says.

Critics and supporters alike congratulate and value teachers, schools and the ministry for their efforts when the learning achievement or performance of students are improved considerably.

These are some of the challenges, experiences and achievements.

Over the last 10 years, Solomon Islands education system has been working and the country continues to address the big challenges.

Meanwhile, Premier of Western Province David Gina noted that the conference will set a new direction to take when the new education Bill is enacted.

He says education is important, and it is the foundation of the nation to enjoy peace, progress and prosperity.

“We can move positively forward if we look back and evaluate when we gained our independence,” he says.

Premier Gina also acknowledged and commended pioneer churches that brought education to the shores of Solomon Islands.

The conference ends this Friday.

by Jared Koli

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