Sogavare welcomes AUD$50m education assistance to SI

PM Sogavare and Minister Ciobo at the Prime Minister's Office.

PM Sogavare and Minister Ciobo at the Prime Minister’s Office.

THE Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Hon Manasseh Sogavare has welcomed with open arms an AU$50 million (SB$300 million) education funding assistance by the Australian Government to Solomon Islands for the next four years.

Australia’s visiting Minister for International Development and the Pacific; Hon. Steven Ciobo (MP) announced the assistance at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sogavare in Honiara today.

The Australian aid will help Solomon Islands to produce quality technical and vocational graduates with national and internationally recognized qualifications.

Australia will partner with local training providers to improve their technical and vocational training courses to enable graduates to fill labour market shortages in key areas including in trades, hospitality, business management and tourism.

This initiative is part of a broader package of support for education in Solomon Islands which focuses on four key areas including:

  • Technical and Vocational skills for employment
  • Basic skills in literacy and numeracy in the early years of school
  • High level professional skills through the Australian Awards scholarships; and
  • an expansion of the New Colombo Plan to Solomon Islands in 2016

“This package will ensure that more Solomon Islanders receive a high quality education and have the skills they need to participate in a growing economy,” Minister Ciobo said. “It recognises that for all of Solomon Islands’ wonderful natural resource, its greatest asset is its people”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has expressed his profound gratitude to the Government and People of Australia for this assistance which comes at a time when Solomon Islands is working hard to train its human resources.

“Our challenge is to achieve the sustainable development goals come 2030 and one of the resources that we have in abundance that we produce every year at a rate of 16,000 babies which is equivalent to 35 classrooms every year is our human resources and the challenge is to train them and make them effective participants of economic development and come 2030 we should be standing up with the rest of the world and say yes we have done something to train our human resources,” Mr Sogavare said.

Source: OPMC Press