HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Oct. 21) - Limited access to education is one of the educational concerns of Solomon Islands.

Speaking at the first ever-regional conference on "Rethinking Educational Aid in the Pacific" being held in Fiji, Solomon Islands' Bob Pollard said only 70 percent of primary-aged children in Solomon Islands attend primary school and smaller proportions progress to secondary, vocational, technical or tertiary levels.

His presentation, entitled "Educational Aid to Post Conflict Solomon Islands" drew attention to the recent conflict and its impacts on education in the country.

He said the conflict period compounded educational issues faced in Solomon Islands, leading to the closure of a number of schools on Guadalcanal.

He said the impact on government finance disrupted most of the schools throughout the country up and into 2003.

He said the conflict also had a significant impact on the morale of teachers.

He said other educational issues in Solomon Islands involve implications of the current population growth rate of 2.8 percent, adding that in 12 years, there will be another 60,000 children to accommodate.

Mr Pollard stressed that the implications for classrooms, materials, and teachers will be enormous, as will be the funding needed to pay these teachers.

October 22, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.:


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