By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online
Australia’s visiting Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Steven Ciobo, announced further Australian assistance at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sogavare in Honiara today.
Sogavare welcomed with open arms an AU$50 million (SB$300 million) education funding assistance by the Australian government to Solomon Islands for the next four years.
This aid will help the Solomon Islands to produce quality technical and vocational graduates with national and international recognised qualifications.
This initiative is part of a broader package of support for education in Solomon Islands which focuses on four key areas including technical and vocational skills for employment, basic skills in literacy and numeracy in early years of school, high level professional skills through Australian Awards scholarships; and an expansion of the New Colombo Plan to Solomon Islands in 2016
“This package will ensure the more Solomon Islanders receive a high quality education and have the skills they need to participate in a growing economy,” Minister Ciobo said.
“It recognises that for all of Solomon Islands’ wonderful natural resource, its greatest asset is its people”.
“Our challenge is to achieve the sustainable development goals come 2030 and one of the resources that we have in abundance that we produce every year at a rate of 16,000 babies which is equivalent to 35 classrooms every year is our human resources and the challenge is to train them and make them effective participants of economic development and come 2030 we should be standing up with the rest of the world and say yes we have done something to train our human resources,” Sogavare said.