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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 28, 1999 – PACNEWS)---Solomon Islands Education Minister Ronidy Mani and his Secretary, Lucian Kii, are in South Korea to look at the non-formal education sector, in an effort to implement changes to Solomon Islands’ education system.

This follows the completion of a master plan, which is expected to pay more attention to non-formal education and vocational training.

Acting Education Secretary Moffat Behulu admits the country's system has neglected skills training, which could lead to self-employment. Instead, it has concentrated on the formal sector.

The present system, according to Behulu, is too academic and skills obtained under formal training have been under-utilized.

"The idea of treating vocational and formal training more as equals is not new. The master education plan is merely revisiting an idea so popular in the 70's.

Behulu said the present education system is spending less money, time and effort in skills training.

The Government's move in trying to balance formal and non-formal training is understood to be a realization that the present education system cannot satisfy the educational needs of a country with thousands who still can't read or write.

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