In the past week, the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) hosted its first ever training session for solar technicians through the USAID funded Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy program (VOCTEC).

The 5 day program ended yesterday with the successful training of 15 local technicians in the installation, maintenance and trouble-shooting of rural solar power systems.

Over 70% of Solomon Islanders live in rural areas are without access to energy services. This leads to poorer health, education and gender equality outcomes for these communities.

The VOCTEC program enables SINU to train technicians to deliver sustainable solar power solutions in these areas. This allows them to access the abundant sunshine that the country is blessed with, and turn it into an efficient power source.

Recently trained technician Mary Falea, from Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification said, “I am happy that I had the chance to take part in this training. It will help me when I am working on solar installations in rural areas.”

Thanks to the VOCTEC program, these 15 newly trained technicians will be able to assist dozens of communities in installation, use and maintenance of their solar power systems.

This unique training program is developed and administered by Arizona State University. ASU is the largest university in the United States and has world-leading academics and professionals that specialize in the development of vocational training programs.

As part of the VOCTEC project, ASU also provided training for 3 SINU teachers (Mr. Tapera Bird, Mr. Paul Ramo and Mr. Napter Noveti) during a 2-week training course held at USP’s Suva campus in February. In addition to boosting the skills of its teachers, the program provided SINU with a new teaching syllabus, assessment materials and 3 mobile training toolkits complete with solar panels, wiring board, controller and inverter and an array of high quality, robust measurement tools that allow them to now run hands-on training for the technicians. SINU plan to use these resources to conduct further technician training workshops in solar.


Source: Press Release, Solomon Islands National University and USAID funded Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy program (VOCTEC)