Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Jan. 9) – Revelations of a drop in academic standards in Solomon Islands schools because of lack of qualified teachers is a major cause of concern that must be looked into.

Solomon Islands National Teachers Association’s Industrial Relations Officer John Lee Hatimoana told Guadalcanal teachers yesterday that the surge in number of untrained teachers is having an adverse effect on the academic standard of schools in the country.

Up to 700 untrained teachers were recruited last year but the number is expected to surge given the increasing number of schools this year.

Hatimoana’s revelation speaks volume of a flop education system, which lacks proper planning by policy markers.

At the same time it indicates that teaching is the less competitive profession where anybody can take-up.

The sad thing at the receiving end is the innocent children.

After all our kids deserve better education.

It is vitally important that children get the best education at an early age because these are the years that can make or break the future of our children.

If children are taught by unqualified teachers then there is likelihood of them being unsuccessful in the rest of their education endeavour compared to a well season and qualified teacher.

Teachers can therefore take a huge responsibility for such a failure.

However, they can’t solely shoulder the responsibility.

It is the responsibility of our education authorities to ensure that well trained professionals take-up teaching in our schools.

Such a desire must be supported by the willingness of the government to clearly map out its training program.

The Government should encourage teachers teaching without qualifications to return to the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education to complete their studies there.

It should also make teaching an attractive profession that young people can look forward to joining after school.

Right now many people are taking up teaching not because it’s attractive but because it’s easy to get into.

To improve the standard of teaching in our schools, the government should work closely with the Solomon Islands National Teacher Association (SINTA) to make teaching much more attractive than what it is now.

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