Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, visited Mbokona Community High School in Honiara Solomon Islands to meet with the school community and officially open a new science laboratory.

The science laboratory is part of Australia’s SBD 29 million contribution to school infrastructure upgrades in partnership with Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

Minister Wong was joined by Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, Hon Tozen Leokana, to mark the occasion.

“Australia is Solomon Island’s largest education partner,” Minister Wong said.

“Since 2015 Australia has invested SBD720 million in basic education in Solomon Islands, including to build and upgrade 180 school facilities across all provinces, train more than 3,000 schoolteachers, support education reforms, and provide further education and training opportunities for the Solomon Island’s workforce.

Mbokona Community High School Principal, Mr Basil Wasiia expressed deep gratitude and appreciation to relevant stakeholders who have been part of this milestone achievement.

In acknowledging the generosity and good will of the Government of Australia, Principal Wasiia said the science lab acquisition was a critical addition to Mbokona Community High School infrastructure development needs, that has been lacking for the past 22 years.

“This means we can now offer a full science curriculum to our high school students every year,” Mr Wasiia said.

“Science laboratories provide the students learning resources needed to develop critical analytical qualitative skills and research outcomes necessary for building the Solomon Islands’ economy and addressing anticipated future challenges.”

Minister Wong also announced an additional SBD18 million to build water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in 30 schools in Central Province under a partnership with UNICEF Pacific.

That means more young people, especially girls, can enjoy a safer and healthier learning environment.

“Solomon Islands has a bright future and it’s young people are key to unlocking all the country can offer,” said Minister Wong.

“Australia will continue to be the number one partner for Solomon Islands in education and will work to improve school facilities, train teachers, and support inclusive education.

“Australia and Solomon Islands have a longstanding partnership in the education sector, recognising this is an investment in future prosperity, security and innovation."


Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands