By now a good majority of young Solomon Islanders between the ages of 14-20 will know of their educational fate. Some have made it through the system, a good majority have not.
The ministry of education has publicised the names of those that have passed the entrance examinations for forms 4 and 6. Typically more than 65% will find themselves kicked out of the system with no prospects for a job or further education.
“Most of them have no option but to return to the village, and it is always a difficult decision for any family,” said David Stanley, a form 3 teacher at one of the community secondary schools in Honiara.
“Our classrooms are not keeping up with our population growth rate so there are always fewer rooms for students as one advance in education.”
The ministry of education’s annual budget continues to be dominated by the maintenance and up keep of current schools. Very little budgetary allocation goes towards class expansion.
“It is important to understand that the government is already stretched just to keep current schools open,” said a senior officer at the ministry responsible for secondary schools.
“We also have to continuously improve the conditions of our teachers, which is very important, but always comes at a very high cost.”
Gaby, a young 16 year old, is amongst thousands of young Solomon Islanders without a place to continue their education.
“I am still very keen to learn, I know I can improve, but I have failed my exams…I do not know what to do now,” said Gaby.