The Embassy of Japan in Solomon Islands is assisting the rehabilitation of the Girls Hostel at Kukum Campus, Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE).

The First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Hiroaki Fujiwara, and the SICHE Director, Dick Ha'amori, this morning signed a grant contract worth over SBD$600,000, supported through the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Project (GGP).

The hostel was damaged during the ethnic tension in 1999-2000 and has since been impossible to accommodate students.

The grant will be used for the rehabilitation works such as electrical fittings, plumbing, louvers, mosquito screens, minor fixing, paintings, along with other maintenance.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Fujiwara said that Japan recognizes the significant role of SICHE in the human resource development to the nation.

In recognizing this, the Japan government has been supporting the challenges of SICHE under the Grassroots and Human Security project, which includes the school library in 2005 and the 2003 School of Nursing Enhancement Project.

"The chance of access to higher education must be open equal to male and female, and it is our pleasure to be able to assist female students, especially from provinces, in providing accommodation," Mr. Fujiwara said.

He stressed that more females in the world today are likely to take sufficient role in the society.

"It is hoped SICHE provides sufficient study environment for competent female students that will be leading the nation in the future," Mr. Fujiwara said.