Friday, 7 March 2008 10:45 AM

Free Education Needed: Fono

He says the two former governments of Sir Allan Kemakeza and Manasseh Sogavare supported the free education policy for Solomon Islands.

Mr Fono says the Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government also has a free education policy.

He says free education for Solomon Islands is a policy all members of Parliament agree with, be they in the Opposition or in the Government.

The Kemakeza Government initiated the policy when it announced in 2004 that it had decided to drop the payment of school fees at Standard Six and later at Form Three.

Mr Fono says the Grand Coalition for Change and the CNURA Governments have taken the same line of policy because of its desire in ensuring that Solomon Islanders are well educated.

However, he says as the free education policy impacts on school budgets as fees form part of school funds to operate, the Government has to secure funding from the country's development partners thus the continuing talks with the Taiwanese Government.

He says initial discussions, between the Sogavare-led Government and Taipei for funding of the free education policy, are acknowledged.

Mr Fono described as misleading statements made by the Leader of Opposition, Manasseh Sogavare, that the Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua had used the current visit to Taiwan to negotiate aid to finance the free education policy.

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