Please allow me to contribute some thoughts towards the NCRA policy that was released a few weeks ago by the NCRA government.
Firstly, I would like to commend the government of the day for the work that has been put into this policy. As we all know policy is a document that drives the action plans of the government of the day to benefit the county. Having said that, I fail to see this policy driving the country forward as it fails to address crucial matters such as:
Firstly, sustainability of peace in the Solomon Islands - I believe that the NCRA government needs to address the causes of the ethnic tension, of which one of them is land and the ongoing illegal squatting around Honiara. Unless this matter is addressed, all the peace processes and reconciliations (that is costing the taxpayers a huge sum) will not be last. Solomon Islands need real peace for economic and developments to take place that will create job opportunities and economic progress. It is the responsibility of the government of the day to address the causes of the ethnic tension that all citizens of Solomon Islands don't want to see repeated.
Secondly, youth unemployment and civic engagement - The young people are future for Solomon Islands. The government of the day should be investing heavily on all aspects of youth development. NCRA policy should reflect their seriousness to make a difference in terms of creating employment and education for all youth and also, ensuring that these employment opportunities are sustainable. The high percentage of ongoing dropouts from grade 9, 10, 11, 12 are alarming at this stage. What will NCRA government do for the Solomon Islands young people to create a positive change that is different from the previous ones?
Lastly but not the least,
To promote gender 'equity' rather than equality - I believe that there are more women in the Solomon Islands compared to men (correct me if I am wrong), and yet they are not fairly represented in high decision making bodies (such as the provincial government and of course the current government). I believe that NCRA, if they are serious about seeing Solomon Islands women participate in the social and development aspect of the country should put in place some tangible goals for perusal and put some monitoring systems in place to ensure this happens while they are power.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Dulcie T. Paina and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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