Stories by Solomon Islands Writers Support Digital Home Learning for Children
Partners gathered to celebrate the launch of new multilingual digital home learning materials for young children under the ‘Helpem Smol Wan Skul Gud’ project, translated as ‘Helping young children learn better’ in Gizo, Western province on 24 June and in Taro, Choiseul province on 21 July.
The project, which commenced in May 2021, is being implemented by Save The Children Solomon Islands and Library for All, a not-for-profit Organization, and is funded under the Solomon Islands Education Sector Support Program (ESSP), a partnership between the Governments of Solomon Islands, Australia, and New Zealand.
Ms Natasha Sokeleke from Save the Children explained, “We have created 400 plus culturally relevant books across seven languages, sourced from writers’ workshops in the Solomon Islands, translation workshops with language committees, engaging education specialists, social media campaigns for writers and from books adapted from our PNG collections.”
The multilingual Digital library is developed for pre-school to Upper Primary students, ages three to 13. The Digital Library is stored in four ‘spark kits’ each containing 20 tablets and solar equipment for charging. The Digital Library can also be accessed through 1000 pre-loaded micro-SD cards which were distributed to the 10 schools and communities through Early Childhood Development (ECD) Networks in Western and Choiseul provinces.
Speaking on behalf of ESSP partners at the launch in Gizo, Ms Brenda Mauli, Australian High Commission Senior Program Manager Education said that under the ESSP, Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand were partnering to improve access to quality basic education for all children in Solomon Islands. Under the ESSP, five NGOs were receiving grants to strengthen early childhood care and education, improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged children, and strengthen community support for children’s learning. The ESSP partners were pleased to support the ‘Helpem Smolwan Skul Gud’ project, to support parents and caregivers to provide quality home learning across five communities each in Western and Choiseul provinces.
At the virtual launch of the Choiseul chapter of the project, Ms Olivia Benton-Guy, Second Secretary at the New Zealand High Commission remarked that “we are pleased to see that Early Childhood Development Networks were an active part of this project, as the early years of a child’s education are foundational to their future education and development. New Zealand and Australia remain committed to investing in the education of Solomon Islands children, laying the foundation for a safe, prosperous and inclusive future for Solomon Islands.”
ESSP Press statement