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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp., Jan. 18) – The Solomon Islands Government's new policy in providing free primary education in the country as of this year has been called a major step forward towards investing in village life.

In a statement this week, Advisor to the Solomon Islands Development Trust, Dr John Roughan, says the introduction of investing in basic education at primary schooling level is a good start.

He said while the investment of $160 (US$21) for each child per year at the primary school level is good, it will need a boost in future.

But Dr Roughan warns that the wonderful news has been muddled up by politicians mixing their re-election bids with children's education.

He says the policy of free education is reversing a policy as old as the nation itself.

Dr Roughan says in the past, Solomon Islands invested its money in university students and much less on primary school students.

He says in 2004 Solomon Islands' 75,000 primary students received less than half of what the country's 2,500 post secondary students absorbed.

Dr Roughan says under the present system, Solomon Island's kindergarten children still pay higher education fees than primary, secondary and tertiary students.

He says Government's direct funding for primary schools under the current policy is most welcomed, adding that it's something which should have been done long ago.

January 19, 2005

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.:


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