Tuesday, 6 January 2009 2:26 PM

Opposition Leader Pessimistic On Schools Opening

As Solomon Islands prepares to start the education year later this month, doubt still clouds the government's promised free education policy for primary and junior high schools across the country.

The Sikua-led government has promised to implement its free education policy for grades one to form three students beginning this year. However, according to the Leader of Opposition, Manasseh Sogavare, this may not be possible to effectively deliver this service as planned.

Mr Sogavare claims that funds which the government has been banking on to kick start the policy is actually not available.

He says while the government has allocated a total of 20 million dollars to fund the delivery of free education - five million from domestic sources and 15 million from NZAid - there is a huge difference between allocation of funds and the availability of funds.

He says come the time to start off the academic year, the country could be facing some big problems and delays in starting schools.

The Opposition Leader also suggests the government use provisions under the Appropriation Act to get immediate funding from the Central Bank or from commercial banks should the policy be successful.

Schools in Solomon Islands are expected to start the academic year on the nineteenth of this month.

Source: SIBC News