Sunday, 7 October 2007 11:37 AM

Gov't Seeks to Reduce School Fees

Minister of Education, Dr Derick Sikua, stated in a recent visit to South Guadalcanal that the government will do all it can to ensure that education remains affordable.

In an official tour to Kolina, South Guadalcanal, the Minister of Education heard from many parents that school fees are still very expensive. Many are concerned that this is despite the fact that the national government has provided school grants to subsidize primary and secondary school fees. Many parents stated that faced with such predicament, many are forced to withdraw their children from school and, in some cases, pay only for the best prospective student within the family.

In his response, Minister Sikua said that the government "sympathizes with students who are forced to leave school because their fee payers find it expensive". Minister Sikua assured those present that the National government will seek to subsidize part of the school fee by providing school grants paid to school authorities quarterly.

Mr Sikua says he will take up this important issue with the government to ensure next year's fees are reduced. The Minister said that the issue of "affordability and accessibility will be addressed, particularly in a country like the Solomon Islands, where it is important to maintain a strong skill based population."