Dr. Franco Rodie, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), has highlighted the ministry’s direction to support early learners using language as medium of instruction.

During his address commemorating International Mother Language Day on February 22, Dr. Rodie highlighted MEHRD's role in implementing multilingual education, citing the legislative framework as a crucial aspect.

He specifically mentioned Section 65(1) of the new Education Act 2023, which has been officially gazetted, providing provisions for language instructions.

This provision allows for the use of local vernacular, Pijin, English, or sign language either individually or in combination, tailored to the students' needs.

According to the Education Regulation 2024, the medium of instruction for Early Childhood Education (ECE) to Year 3 primary school pupils includes the mother tongue, Pijin, and sign language.

English language introduction is designated for Year 4 primary education. Dr. Rodie emphasized that English becomes the principal language of instruction from Year 7 to Year 12.

Furthermore, Dr. Rodie highlighted MEHRD's commitment to complying with the Act through pilot projects in Arosi on Makira and Saá on Small Malaita. These projects aim to inform the potential expansion of vernacular language instruction in Solomon Islands schools, utilizing lessons learned to ensure the success of future initiatives.

He noted the 2019 report, which indicated that early learners show quick reading and learning abilities when exposed to vernacular languages.

The report emphasized positive learning outcomes and highlighted MEHRD's role in guiding education providers and teacher training institutions in integrating language programs with existing curriculum development, teacher professional development, and community-based initiatives.

Dr. Rodie also emphasized the ministry's focus on promoting mother languages, considering language as a crucial element of identity that shapes the past, future, culture, environment, existence, expression, and interactions. He acknowledged the urgency of preserving endangered mother languages and highlighted MEHRD's role in providing a legislative framework for implementing language instruction to achieve this goal 


Source: Press Release, Ministry of Education and Human Resources