EDUCATION is for all and New Zealand Government ensures that persists by committing more funds for the extension of basic and quality education throughout the country.
New Zealand High Commissioner Mark Ramsden yesterday signed a funding arrangement of $165 million which will accommodate the program for the next three years.
This was signed with Minister for Education Mathew Wale and Finance Minister Snyder Rini at the parliament house.
Mr Ramsden said improving access to education and the quality of that education is crucial to supporting sustainable economic development in the Solomon Islands.
“Basic and quality education is very important so we want to help by extending our support and by providing support directly to the Ministry of Education will help ensure as much of the aid possible get to where is most needed such as schools in the provinces,” he said.
He said they are glad to support the Solomon Islands government strengthen the standard and quality of education.
“This is the ideal way to support the Solomon Islands government and it is important that we focus on quality.”
Minister for Education Mr Wale expressed his appreciation to the New Zealand government for the strong commitment in ensuring children attended basic education.
“This is a huge support that comes with a heart and it is not a minor thing for any country to make such commitment,” Mr Wale said.
“I want to see other donors to join and make such long term commitment which would make the donor partnership much more robust and open.”
He said carrying out the education plans across the whole country requires both strong and effective Solomon Islands’ leadership.
The signing of the arrangement builds upon the strong partnership in the education sector that already exists between the two countries.
Over the past six years the Solomon Islands and New Zealand Governments have worked together on basic education and achieved good progress such as:
• The number of children enrolled in primary school has increased by 30% from 2003
• 289 classroom blocks have been built under the partnership between 2004 and 2009
• 96% of schools received school grants in 2009 for material and minor maintenance
• 1850 teachers have been trained at the School of Education since 2004
• Textbooks and teachers’ guides for English and Mathematics have been developed, printed and delivered to every primary school in the country.
These achievements are expected to be further strengthened in the next three years with the current arrangement.
The Government will use the funds to implement the ministry’s National and Provincial Education Action Plans towards the two main goals of achieving equitable access to education for all people in Solomon Islands, and improving the quality of educ