There are gaps on the classroom walls, during rainy days water seeps through the cracks, and muddies the unpaved floor.
Madakacho Community Kindergarten is located on South Guadalcanal, it is a patchy little leaf hut that can only fit 15 to 20 students. The kindergarten is an extension of Sughu Community High School, and it focuses on early childhood learning.
The kindergarten enrols close to a hundred children each year, and the classroom is small, resources are limited, teachers have had to resort to using sticks and stones for learning.
“It is sad to see that student at this early stage of learning do not have the resources provided for them,” said Hilda Manekoti, one of the teaching assistants.
''We must be creative, so we use sticks, stones and whatever we can find from our homes or outside the classrooms. We can see the children are so eager to learn, but it is hard with no materials and no proper learning space.”
Hilda’s supervisor is Donald Oleni, he admits that such conditions is discouraging for teachers, as it limits what they can do to impart knowledge and learning to young children.
“Everything you see here is homemade out of our own creativity, it is all from us teachers, whatever we can find from home we make something from it,” Donald said.
"Creative ideas, that’s all we have, to help in the learning of these young children. But they deserve more.”
Early Childhood or Pre-Primary Year (PPY) are the foundation of each child’s learning journey. Ms Manekoti says what they must put up with is sad, especially for those children who turn up faithfully every morning, eager to learn.
"Children here always do their best to attend, to learn, but with no proper resources it is hard to keep them interested. Proper Sanitation for these children is also an issue, and with the crowded classrooms it is not very healthy for them," Manekoti said.
With the rainy season fast approaching Hilda says classes will be cancelled – the leafy roof is leaking, the floor will be muddy, and there are not enough chairs for students to sit on.
Sadly, this is the reality for many schools in the rural areas – sticks and stones for learning? these children, our children, deserve better.