17 May 2022
Call for school fee subsidy
The Government should consider providing school fee subsidy for rural-based schools in light of the financial struggle and economic situation facing the country.
A concerned businessman in Gizo, Western Province who declined to be named, said the notice to start classes at the end of this month is now causing a lot of challenge for many rural parents who are now under pressure to prepare school fees.
Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) has announced that classes for high school and rural training centres will commence 30th May.
This should be followed by primary and later early childhood education centres.
However, the business man said not all parents are prepared to send their children back to school due to personal financial constraints.
He said lack of income generating opportunities for many parents in the rural communities since the lockdown is a concern.
He highlighted the rising cost of fuel is also contributing to rising cost of goods and services.
“In these trying times, parents that have a number of children that are attending primary and schools at both the rural areas and urban centres will be finding it very hard to meet their school fee obligation.
“This is because they are also finding it hard to earn an income.”
In such a situation the government should consider offering free education to rural children or provide fee subsidy, he added.
The businessman pointed out that people who have good jobs and money can easily afford school fees for their children.
“But not for our rural parents who are struggling because of unemployment and only earn an income from their small markets,” the concerned businessman said.
Source. Solomon Star news.
SDA hails APTC for support
The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) has provided support to two rural training centres of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
A donation of tools, equipment and building materials were donated to the Seventh Day Adventist Education Authority last Friday.
Associate education director Janelle Erick said the two rural training centres that will benefit from the donation are Batuna Rural Training Centre in Marovo, Western Province and Afutara Rural Training Centre in Malaita Province.
Ms Erick thanked the Australian Government through APTC for recognising the contribution of rural training centres in the country.
“Thank you Australian Government through APTC for your generosity and support in lifting the standards of education delivery particularly in our RTC institutions to ensure that quality teaching and learning is happening in our schools.
She also commended the partnership over the past years which had resulted in the ongoing support for RTCs in the country.
“Huge thank you to your support and for the partnership relationship we have made over the years.
“Not only that but also they have made a huge contribution as well in up-skilling our tutors in areas of leadership and governance and also to deliver quality training to students they teach in their specialized skilled areas,” she said.
Most RTCs in the country are being operated by church organizations.
Source. Solomon Star news.
Burnscreek SDA primary launches e-learning platform
Burnscreek Adventist Primary School (BAPS) in East Honiara has officially launched its Electronic Learning (e-learning) Program this Tuesday.
The launching event was witnessed by representatives of the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) Education Authority Janelle Erick, Transpacific Union Mission (TPU) Education representative in Solomon Islands Joseph Pitakia, Director of Ministry of Education and Human Resource School Service Division Julie Lilo, General Secretary of the SDA Mission Pr. David Filo, Fuzionnet Managing Director Gavin Gorazu and staff of Burnscreek Primary School.
Speaking at the official launching, BAPS Head Master Raynald Sikepitu said, the online platform was initiated in 2020 by former headmistress Madam Sherol Mautoa.
Sikepitu said as part of the preparatory work staff members have undergone training on how to deliver the electronic learning (online) for primary children during any lockdown in the future.
Fuzionnet Company facilitated training.
“This new technology will be a first ever medium and platform that the school established to enhance students learning at home whilst facing the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Sikepitu said.
He thanked Fuzionnet for providing the training and for working closely with teachers in putting resources and work plans into the e-Learning web page of Burns creek Primary School.
He said despite the financial challenged faced by the school, the school saw the great need to venture online so that parents with access to computers can directly assist their children at home.
“BAPS has a strategic plan, upon registration the admin will get a data of parents who have access to internet and therefore we will get approximately the number of students who will enrol online platform.”
The school has three options of e-learning and one is face-to-face.
Face-to-face learning is for those who don’t have access to the internet and therefore need to attend classes.
“Also once classes resume, this online learning platform is on standby.
“In the future should there be any lockdowns or problems affecting our daily schooling the online platform will be utilized to our students,” Mr. Sikepitu explained.
He pointed out that the platform technology skill has been utilized to a capacity that school wants their school students to be more creative.
Meanwhile, Director of School Service Division Ms Lilo has acknowledged BAPS for the wonderful initiative in launching the e-learning program.
She said Burnscreek Primary is the first locally operated school in the country to officially launch such an e-learning platform.
Ms Lilo said BAPS is so lucky to launch the platform when MEHRD has officially announced the reopening of the school by the end of this month.
“You are so lucky to have the platform, so the education for our children would not stop when schools close down during lockdown or any issue but would continue at home.
“And for this I would like to acknowledge BAPS for initiating this platform and congratulate you for that.”
She said MEHRD has a platform of continuity learning program which is being broadcasted via SIBC.
“And that’s one of the platforms.
“But you have taken initiative to promote the e-learning and BAPS is the first primary school in Solomon Islands to come with the initiatives of e-learning,” Ms Lilo said.
She highlighted that in light of the COVID-19 community transmission, schools must adapt to the initiative of promoting e-learning to children for home learning and support to our parents is very important.
“Today we are living in the digital world and children are learning in the 21st centuries that we are living in now.
“Therefore, schools and parents must adapt to what we call a ‘new normal’ that our schools are going through to ensure learning takes place not only face to face in class but also provide a platform for e-learning on the internet.”
Thus, she thanked the school for coming up with the initiative.
She highlighted that there are some schools within Honiara that are trying to do similar initiative.
Meanwhile, SDA Associate Education Director, Janelle Erick also acknowledged BAPS for the successful launching of the e-learning platform program.
She said the learning program will enable students to have access to digital learning wherever they are through whatever digital devices they have.
Ms Erick added that this platform would make students learn more easily during lockdowns and school closures in the future.
Source . Solomon Star News.