I sympathize with our students who have to spend a year or so learning Chinese, Japanese or Spanish before taking up their field of studies. I can imagine the difficulty to adapt to a new language, the frustration about the years that requires them to do the studies, and of course the cost of this mode of study to the sponsor.

However, with the current situation we have where adult literacy rate is low - around 76.6%, net primary school enrollment is only 80%, shortage of qualified teacher is experienced in all levels of education, teachers holiday expenses is difficult to meet, population growth rate is still high, and numerous health problems are risking our young population, multiple language curriculum may be luxury at this stage.

The burden felt by our student is part of the cost of this luxury. In Solomon Islands rather than the formal system providing such multi language curriculum, the best way could be to encourage private providers to take up the opportunity. Some Japanese language classes have started, the Chinese association should be encouraged to start mandarin lessons, and let's see if somebody can do the Spanish.

If the market can support these adds-on lessons, then let it be driven by the private providers to those who can afford. For now let us see if the formal system can shoulder the free education.