Friday, 16 January 2009 4:58 PM

Launch of Fee Free Education

An educated populace is the foundation to a vibrant society and nation.

Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua, made the statement at the launch of the "Fee Free Education" policy this afternoon in Honiara.

"... my government has made it one of its flagship policies to provide fee free education in the Solomon Islands [and] today marks the implementation of this historic policy initiative."

The launch of the policy marks the beginning of payments of grants with five schools receiving their cheques.

"Today marks the beginning of payments of grants into our schools to take up the gap that has, for many years, been met by parents."

Dr. Sikua urged parents to ensure their children of basic schooling age are enrolled.

He also called on all stakeholders in the nation's education system to work together to ensure that this policy is a success.

Speaking to Solomon Times after the launch, one of the five recipients, Principal for Laulanda Community High School, Wilson Kafo, said the launch of the 'fee free education' policy is welcomed by parents especially in the rural.

"This is an answer to parents in the rural setting who find it difficult to meet school fee demands," Mr. Kafo said.

The school principal said the new initiative will greatly assist parents who are facing financial difficulties.

He said the system implemented is a boost to help the high populace in the rural areas to have basic education without worrying about costs.

The implementation will be reviewed during the year.

New Zealand government has put in an assistance of fifteen million dollars while the Republic of China an assistance of five million dollars towards policy initiative.

Government has made an initial payment of SBD$19,798,712 to support the implementation of the policy initiative.

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