3 June 2018
MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN THE SOLOMONS
As one who has been keen to follow the good work of the Youth@Work programme in the Solomon Islands in providing vocational skills training aiding the job prospects for young Solomon Islanders, I was pleased to read an article in the Island Sun last week about a proposal for a new rural training centre.
The proposed rural training centre was raised by Pastor John Hugo when he was speaking at the official handover of a newly built six room double story building providing extra classrooms at the Global Harvest School in Gilbert Camp.
Pastor Hugo envisaged the concept of a new rural training centre, although still seen as a dream, could lead to an upgrade of the east Honiara school.
The Pastor likened his dream as a challenge to educational stakeholders for he felt the development of a rural training centre would enhance the Human Resource development aspirations of many in the Solomon Islands in the years to come.
Importantly, Pastor Hugo was reported to have said, “Once established, vocational education and training (VET) would aim at creating opportunities for productive employment and provide access to adequately paid work, which could enable people to lead a self-determined life.”
Citing the need for a rural training centre, the Pastor told his audience, “The demand results from the outcomes of primary education, which has placed heavier pressure on secondary educational systems, because a growing number of primary school-leavers are entering the labour market directly or need further training.
“The steady growth of the informal sector is also coming to the attention of international education policy debate”, he had added.
The proposal for a rural training centre is a sound idea given a growing focus locally on secondary and tertiary education and I would hope Pastor Hugo’s dream will be realized and coupled with job creation, added gender equity and much better health and environmental improvements.