Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Dec. 11) - Taiwan’s commitment to education is one of the greatest investments that any donor can give to Solomon Islands.

It has been obvious that Taiwan has been in the limelight in the recent past for education related support - dishing out millions of dollars or highlighting its commitment to the sector.

[PIR Editors Note: The Solomon Islands Ministry of Education received SI$7 million [US$1 million] in March from the Taiwanese Government for funding of scholarships. This was the first tranche, or portion, of a total of SI$16.7 million [US$2.3 million] the Taiwanese Government will provide this year.]

The degree of its assistance to that sector can be mirrored in the number of schools that invited its ambassador George Chan to be their chief guest during their speech days. This can be viewed as a way of paying respect to a genuine friend.

The accolade by our schools to Republic of China is highly appreciated as their support greatly enhances the government’s ability to educate its citizens given the financial difficulties we’re facing.

We also commend donors like New Zealand, European Union, Australian, Papua New Guinea and Japan for their continues support to the development of education in the country.

Solomon Islands need its partners to develop its human resources as education holds the key for the future of our country.

Whilst Australia and New Zealand remain our traditional education destinations especially at tertiary level, the gesture by Taiwan to open its doors to our students marks a new chapter in education development.

By sending students to Taiwan, Solomon Islands is actually implementing its Look North Foreign Policy, by engaging in education.

Importantly our students are able to get to know our Asian neighbor, their way of doing things rather than just from the western standpoint, which we are used to for many years.

Through exposing our students we can be able to learn from such a country like Taiwan with the hope of implementing their successful guiding principles in our country in the future.

Currently 17 students are studying in Taiwan and Republic of China commits SB$16.7m [US$2.3 million] for our students to study in regional universities with 23 regional scholarships.

The Government must utilize these opportunities granted through the assistance of Republic of China to all Solomon Islanders.

The onus is now with the government to fully maximize these Republic of China scholarships. Their fair distribution too is crucial for a balanced development of education in our country.

It is the desire of all Solomon Islanders to be educated, however, not all will get scholarships but with donors like Republic of China, many more will see their dreams come true.

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