SOLOMON ISLANDS GOVERNMENT

EDUCATION STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
2007 – 2015


Ministry of Education and
Human Resources Development


June 2007
Honiara, Solomon Islands


FOREWORD
completed. The ten provincial education plans have been discussed
nationwide at a series of provincial workshops coordinated by the Ministry of

Education and Human Resources Development. The findings of these
It is my pleasure to present this Education Strategic Framework (ESF), 2007-
provincial plans have been synthesised and merged with inputs from the
2015 to the people of the Solomon Islands. The present Government came
central level into a national document, a National Education Action Plan
to power in 2006 and presented its policies in a document entitled Grand
(NEAP) 2007-2009 of April 2007. This latter document has a three year
Coalition for Change Government: Policy Translation Implementation Document, 2006-
focus, and provides a basis for the practical implementation of initiatives that
2009. That document sets out a commitment to the Government’s vision to
will improve equal access to quality education for all our young people.
give the people of the Solomon Islands hope, prosperity and peace in a
This document, the Education Strategic Framework (ESF) 2007-2015, is a
secure environment. This present document is a key instrument for the
revision of the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2004-2006. It correlates with the
Solomon Islands education system to assist in achieving that vision.
Provincial planning documents for the medium term (the Provincial Education
Our young people carry our hopes for the future. It is in their education that
Action Plans (PEAP) and the National Education Action Plan (NEAP), 2007-
the hope of the nation lies. This Education Strategic Framework (ESF) 2007-
2009. It also captures the planned process beyond 2009 and covers a long-
2015 provides a clear direction for the future, and a benchmark against which
term period of 9 years. This means that the nature of this overall education
the development of our country’s education system can be evaluated. It
planning document can change. It is called a ‘framework’ rather than a ‘plan’
provides a long term vision that will assist in shaping the development of our
because it sets out a way forward. It does not provide all the answers, nor
most precious resource, our people.
even detailed annual costed work plans. However, our Ministry of
This document is a key staging point at the end of a long process of
Education and Human Resources (MEHRD) is now able to produce clear
consultation and development. The Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2004-2006
annual work plans, like for 2007 with clear linking to the approved recurrent
and development budget and expected outcomes of the National Education
was the implementation plan for the Solomon Islands Government and the
main Development Partners, European Union and NZAID within the
Action Plan, 2007-2009 and the Policy Translation Implementation Document
framework of the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme (ESIRP),
(PTID) 2006-2009 of the Grand Coalition for Change Government. This year
the MEHRD wants to develop the costing for the National Education Action
phase I. It set out to provide equitable access to quality basic education for all
Plan (NEAP) 2007-2009 and a Mid Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
children in the Solomon Islands. It also aimed to provide access to
community, technical, vocational and tertiary education that will meet
In April 2007 the Solomon Islands Government represented by Prime
individual, regional and national needs for a knowledgeable skilled,
Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Develoment Planning and
competent and complete people. Finally, it sought to manage resources in an
Aid Co-ordination and Ministry of Education and Human Resource
efficient, effective and transparent manner. These goals remain the basis of
Development signed a Letter of Arrangement with the main Development
this new Education Strategic Framework (ESF) 2007-2015 and link this present
partners, European Union and NZAID which guaranteed the longer term
document to the consistent direction of our Solomon Islands education
technical and financial support for the Education Sector Investment and Reform
system over the last three years.
Programme (ESIRP), phase II and the National Education Action Plan, 2007-2009

The Education Strategic Framework (ESF) charts a course by identifying key
The Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2004-2006 included a recommendation that
education policy issues, and assists in developing possible criteria (a
provincial education action plans be developed. With assistance and financial
Performance Assessment Framework, (PAF) against which the performance of the
support from the European Union and the New Zealand Agency for
education sector can be assessed. In other words, it helps us to get a clear
International Development, that process of development has been

2

idea about the progress towards the expected impact of our sector wide
education programme in 2015.
It is essentially a document to reflect on change, reform and development. It
takes a longer term view than its predecessor, the Education Strategic Plan
(ESP) 2004-2006
, but is entirely consistent with that document. It recognises
that change or reform is never simple or easy, but that if we are to progress
as a nation, the development of our human resources through education is
essential. The Sector Wide Approach and the planned change in the
education sector needs ample time and also longer term commitment and
interest of all stakeholders. Changes, in particular policy and organisational
changes are not made in one day. We need to listen to all, in particular to
those who know what is happening in the classrooms, also in the remote
areas. That is why the MEHRD is eager to continuously invite all
stakeholders in the discussion and the development of the education sector..

The Education Strategic Framework (ESF) together with the National Education
Action Plan (NEAP), 2007-2009 will help us to jointly focus on the main
issues in all sub-sectors as early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and
technical, vocational and community and adult education. It is also necessary
to make sure the fundamentals and policies are sound. Nowhere is it more
important to get the foundations right than in education. 2015 is an
important year for world-wide education. It will be the year to assess to what
extent all countries have achieved the United Nations’ Millennium Development
Goals (MDG’s
). Do we have then all the children enrolled in relevant primary
education and did we achieve or maintain a gender balance at all levels of
education? The Government of Solomon Islands is committed to achieve
these goals and even to achieve more. Our ambitious goals are expressed in
this Education Strategic Framework (ESF) 2007-2015.

I commend this Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015 to you, as I believe
that it provides a very sound basis for the development of the people of the
Solomon Islands, and a solid foundation for investment in our country’s
future.

Hon Dr Derek Sikua,
Minister of Education

3

TABLE OF CONTENTS
12.14 Capacity Development ................................................................53
12.15 Efficiency.....................................................................................55
Definition of Terms .....................................................................................5
12.16 School Infrastructure ...................................................................57
Abbreviations ..............................................................................................6
12.17 Information and Communications Technology...........................59
Introduction .................................................................................................8
12.18 Financing Options and Financial Sustainability..........................62


1. Philosophical
Framework..................................................................10
13 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework ...............................................65
2. Purpose Of The Education Strategic Framework..............................10
14 Financing ..............................................................................................66
3. Global and Regional Context ............................................................11

4. Vision ................................................................................................11
15. Appendix 1: The Solomon Islands Education System (ECE & Schools)
5. Goals..................................................................................................11
...................................................................................................................67
6. Strategies ...........................................................................................12
Appendix 2: Structure of the Formal & Non-Formal Education System..70
7. Outcomes...........................................................................................12
8. Objectives ..........................................................................................13
9. Roles ..................................................................................................14
10. Issues And Constraints ......................................................................15
11. Basic Education .................................................................................16
11.1 Principles Underpinning Basic Education.....................................16
11.2 The Reformed Education System..................................................16
11.3 Critical Constraints to Achieving These Outcomes ......................17

12.
Policy Areas, Expected Policy Outcomes, and Government
Response....................................................................................................18
12.1 Policy Development, Planning, Research, Management, Co-
ordination and Monitoring.....................................................................18
12.2 Universal Basic Education (Primary)............................................21
12.3 Universal Basic Education (Junior Secondary).............................24
12.4 Senior Secondary Education..........................................................26
12.5 Early Childhood Education ...........................................................28
12.6 Special Education ..........................................................................30
12.7 Improving Literacy and Numeracy ...............................................31
12.8 Curriculum.....................................................................................34
12.9 Assessment ....................................................................................36
12.10 Teacher Supply............................................................................39
12.11 Teacher Quality ...........................................................................42
12.12 Tertiary Education .......................................................................45
12.13 Technical and Vocational Education and Training .....................49

4

Definition of Terms
Financing
larger percentage of the cost of their children’s

education as the children advance through the
system. A formula showing parent/ national
Basic Education
The level of education that constitutes the
and provincial government contribution ratios
foundation stage offered to all children. In the
are determined. For example, a primary school
Solomon Islands this means the first nine years
contribution where parents contribute 10%
of formal education from the preparatory year
and government 90% of the total cost, a junior
through to Form 3 or other programmes
secondary ratio of parents 30%/ government
offered elsewhere at similar levels for out-of-
70%, and a senior secondary ratio of parents
school youth and adults.
50%/ government 50%.
Preparatory Year
The first year of primary schooling in the
(Remark: we need the right percentages here
classroom before Standard 1 (for six-year-old
for primary, secondary and TVET)
children on average)
Pre-service training
Training undertaken to learn the profession or
Primary Education
Preparatory Year to end of Standard 6
trade. Teacher pre-service training is training
Lower Primary
Preparatory Year, & Standards 1, 2 & 3
received while studying for the teacher diploma
before beginning service as a qualified teacher.
Upper Primary
Standard 4 to Standard 6
In-service training
Training undertaken while on active service in a
Secondary Education
Form 1 to Form 7
profession or trade. Teacher in-service training
Junior Secondary
Form 1 to Form 3 (also called lower secondary)
is a form of professional development to
ensure that qualified teachers are kept up-to-
Senior Secondary
Form 4 to Form 7 (also called upper
date with curriculum, teaching methods,
secondary)
strategies and approaches to teaching.
Early Childhood
Community-based learning mainly for 3 to 5

Education
year olds done partly in private centres but also
supported by government.


Other Education and
Private and provincial education authorities and
Training Providers
private and national, provincial (rural) training

centres.

Indigenous Education
Skills, customs, knowledge, including
traditional pursuits, craft and music/dance of
the people belonging naturally to the various
areas of the Solomon Islands.
Community Standard
Community standard financing is a progressive
user pay system where parents contribute a

5

Abbreviations
NEAP
National Education Action Plan, 2007-2009
AusAID
Australian Agency for International Development
NEB
National Education Board
CAO Chief
Administrative
Officer
NERP
National Education Reform Committee
CCC Curriculum
Coordination Committee
NESU
National Examination and Standards Unit
CDC Curriculum
Development
Centre
NF3
National Form 3 Examination
CHS
Community High School
NFE Non-formal
Education
COL
Commissioner of Lands
NLAB
National Library Advisory Board
EA Education
Authority
NRB
National Research Board
ECE
Early Childhood Education
NSS
National Secondary School
EMIS
Education Management Information System
NSTP
National Skills Training Plan
EO Education
Officer
NTB
National Training Board
ESIRP
Education Sector Investment Reform Programme
NTC
National Training Committee
ESP
Education Strategic Plan
NTDTC
National Teacher Development Training Committee
ESF
Education Strategic Framework, 2007-2015
NTTT
National Trade, Testing and Training Unit
FBTP
Field-based Training Programme
NTU
National Training Unit
ICTWG
Information and Communications Technology Working
NZAID
New Zealand Agency for International Development
Group
OETP
Other Education and Training Providers
IOA
Institutional and Organisational Assessment
PAF
Performance Assessment Framework
IT Information
Technology
PCDO Principal
Curriculum
Development
Officers
MEHRD
Ministry of Education and Human Resources
Development
PCRU
Planning Coordination and Research Unit
MOF
Ministry of Finance
PEA
Provincial Education Authorities
MTEF
Mid Term Expenditure Framework
PEAP
Provincial Education Action Plan
NCB
National Curriculum Board
PEDP
Primary Education Development Project
NCC
National Curriculum Committee
PFNet People
First
Network
NEAB
National Examination and Assessment Board
PS Permanent
Secretary

6

PSC
Public Service Commission
WB World
Bank
PSS
Provincial Secondary School

PSSC
Pacific Secondary School Certificate

PVIA
Pacific Vocational Interest Analysis

RTC
Rural Training Centre
SAC
Subject Advisory Committee
SIARTC
Solomon Islands Association of Rural Training Centres
SIBC
Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
SICHE
Solomon Islands College of Higher Education
SIDEN
Solomon Islands Distance Education Network
SINTA
Solomon Islands National Teachers Association
SISC
Solomon Islands School Certificate
SISEE
Solomon Islands Secondary Entrance Examination
SOE
School of Education (SICHE)
SPBEA
South Pacific Board for Educational Assessment
STABEX 99
Stabilisation of Exchange Rates for 1999
TA Technical
Assistance
TDO Teacher
Development
Office
TS Teaching
Service
TSC Teaching
Service
Commission
TSD Teaching
Service
Division
TTDO
Teacher Training and Development Officer
TVET
Technical and Vocational Education and Training
US Under
Secretary
VHF
Very High Frequency

7


Introduction


During 2006, considerable feedback was received on the Education Strategic

Plan 2004-2006. A stocktake and analysis, reported in A Stocktake Analysis of

the Education Strategic Plan 2004-2009, was undertaken in May 2006 with the
aim of analysing the progress and status of the education strategic plan with

respect to completion and non-completion of activities stipulated in the plan.
It found that a large proportion of the activities had not met the projected

milestones. Similarly, the 2005 Annual Report of the Ministry of Education

and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) noted that a major
shortcoming was that plans were too ambitious in relation to local capacity to

implement the programmes and projects. This finding was to be addressed
by reviewing the Education Strategic Plan 2004-2006 in 2006 to bring plans in

line with realistic capacity, bringing the MEHRD up to approved
EDUCATION STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
establishment, and using both local and international technical assistance
judiciously.
2007-2015

The sequence of activity over July to October 2006 has involved the further
development of ten provincial education action plans, discussion of these
draft documents at a series of provincial workshops, and consideration of
feedback on the drafts from the “grassroots”. The findings and feedback
from these ten provincial education action plans were incorporated into a
draft National Education Action Plan (NEAP) 2007-2009. During a National
Workshop held in Honiara on 11 and 12 October 2006 both documents, the
Education Strategic Plan
and National Education Action Plan (2007-2009) were
discussed and reviewed. It resulted in a draft Education Strategic Framework for
the period 2007-2015 and a revised National Education Action Plan. After
another workshop in February the latter one was finalised and approved in
April 2007 and the Framework developed to its 4th version.

Representatives from provincial education authorities, from Church
authorities, from the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, from
interested community groups, and from the Ministry of Education and
Human Resources Development attended the workshops in 2006 and 2007.

The National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 reflects the general needs of all
divisions at national level, of the provinces and needs specific to individual

8

provinces. It is derived from the ten provincial education action plans
it is acknowledged that there exists a plethora of reports and planning
(Central Islands, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara, Isabel, Makira-Ulawa,
documents relating to education in the Solomon Islands. What was
Malaita, Renbel, Temotu, and Western).
previously lacking was a longer-term overarching education policy

framework that brings all these together and provides a touchstone against
The Solomon Islands National Education Action Plan 2007-2009:
which various projects and initiatives can be evaluated.
• is based on three education sector-wide strategic goals (derived from

the Education Strategic Plan 2004-2006);
This Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015 differs from its predecessor (the
• includes a set of outcomes, objectives and expected outputs designed
Education Strategic Plan 2004-2006) in a number of ways:
to guide collective action and frame key challenges and potential

projects;
• Its focus is a medium to longer term strategic view of the Solomon
• builds on past successes and on the progress made in developing ten
Islands education system.
provincial education action plans;
• It concentrates only on high-level goals, outcomes and objectives.
• includes a set of activities , human resources and organisations
• It includes an analysis of key policy issues, and key anticipated policy
responsible for achieving the expected outputs and outcomes;
outcomes.
• provides a mandate for leadership.
• It provides a benchmark against which other planning documents

and proposed initiatives can be measured.
The National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 is the planning document that
• Detailed short-term activities have been eliminated, since these
focuses on a three-year time frame (the “shorter term”). That document can
activities are now incorporated in the medium term National Education
be regarded as a “business plan” that provides a focus for action for the
Action Plan 2007-2009.
whole education sector, with specific proposals that are related to each of the
• Some activities have been deferred for consideration later in the
main education sectors (early childhood education, primary education, junior
planning cycle.
secondary education, senior secondary education, tertiary education and

technical and vocational education and training). It is derived from, and
This Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015 is therefore intended to be a
supports, the ten provincial education plans. The plans of the Church
document that provides overall longer term strategic direction and oversight
education authorities are reflected in this overall national planning document.
for the Solomon Islands education system out to 2015. The broader policy
The annual work programmes of the Ministry of Education and Human
issues have been presented as higher level objectives in the context of this
Resources Development, as reflected in the MEHRD’s Education Corporate
longer time frame. In time it is possible that the Education Strategic Framework
Plan 2006-2008, are also directly related to this plan. Other donor activity will
2007-2009 and the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme
be coordinated with national needs reflected in the national planning
(ESIRP), phase II will be integrated as a single high-level strategic planning
documents.
document that gives validity and forward direction to the proposed education

reforms.
The revision of the Education Strategic Plan 2004-2006 has resulted in the
At completion of the planning period, the objective is that the nation will
production of this document, the Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015.
have achieved universal basic education to form 3, and will have a technical,
Because of the existence of the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009, this
vocational and further education system meeting the skill needs of the
present document has changed in character from the previous Education
nation. The system will be managed with financial efficiency and
Strategic Plan 2004-2006. It is nevertheless derived directly from its
transparency and with stakeholder involvement.
predecessor, and is broadly consistent with its original direction. In addition,

9

1. Philosophical Framework
2. Purpose Of The Education Strategic

Framework
Learning is a process by which individuals gain fundamental knowledge, skills,

competencies, attitudes, values, beliefs, and symbolic systems to enable them
This Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015 has been prepared by the
to live with their family, their community, the wider Solomon Islands society
Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) to
and the world beyond. Learning takes place over a lifetime and occurs in the
present the strategic education policy framework within which the long term
home, the community, and the workplace, as well as in schools and centres
development of the Solomon Islands education system will be framed,
of learning.
designed and implemented over the next nine years. It establishes priorities
Education involves planned activities to develop the whole human being,
and a plan of action to ensure that the education system can implement
usually occurring in schools or other institutions. Education enables people
necessary reforms in order to improve student achievement and to
to extend their physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual skills,
contribute to economic growth.
competencies or perspectives, through a range of opportunities.
It is premised on there being a national commitment to directing resources
Quality education enables citizens to develop to their potential and to become
sufficient to meet the education and training needs of the majority of people
self-reliant. Quality education enables individuals to improve their quality of
who live in rural and regional areas.
life, have better health and an improved environment that in turn may reduce
The Framework is an extension and revision of the Education Strategic Plan
poverty, social injustice and unemployment.
2004 – 2006. It consolidates the recommendations of working groups
We believe that responsibility to support basic education resides with
established by the MEHRD between 2004 and 2006 to develop 10 Provincial
teachers, parents, the community, education authorities, local governments
Education Action Plans through a process of consultation with key
and the national government. All these stakeholders are part of an evolving
stakeholders and clients of the education system throughout the Solomon
and dynamic partnership.
Islands. It captures the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 which
summarises and synthesises the priorities for the medium term till 2009 and
We believe that traditional knowledge, skills and attitudes are an essential
which is based on the provincial education action plans. Moreover, it is an
part of education. Education should include understanding traditional and
outcome of nationwide consultation and two national workshops held in
Christian values and beliefs, ways of thinking, reasoning and understanding,
Honiara to discuss its implications and to provide feedback on the priorities
and ways of doing things such as tool making, music, art and craft, fishing,
identified, the first on 11 & 12 October, 2006, and the second on 15 & 16
growing crops and other useful trades. It should also include language,
February, 2007. It is a homegrown document.
literature (including oral tradition), culture, history, modern technologies, the
arts and the sciences.
This Framework provides a basis for the MEHRD’s objective to ensure
universal basic education is available to every child of school age in the
Education must be available to all, regardless of gender, ethnicity and socio-
Solomon Islands. It will enable the MEHRD to continue its reform of the
economic background. In particular, basic education must be accessible to and
education system to make it more responsive and appropriate to the needs of
be accessed by all school age children in Solomon Islands. Likewise, adults
Solomon Islanders. It identifies strategies for enhancing the capacity of the
should have access to further education and training to enable them to
education system to be better able to cope with the rapidly expanding
develop skills for employment or to broaden their knowledge.
demands being placed upon it. It includes changes and reforms to the

provision of basic education services, technical, vocational and further
education, and the management of the education system.
10

The Education Strategic Plan 2004 – 2006 envisaged that a significant outcome

would be the development of Provincial Education Action Plans and the
Our strategic goals are also linked with the regional goals for education
National Education Action Plan that would detail a comprehensive reform
adopted by the Pacific Education Forum. These regional goals for education
programme to be implemented over the short term. These activities were
focus on the Pacific Islands Forum Basic Education Action Plan., and on the
completed in 2007. Based on this work, the MEHRD has confirmed the
regional initiatives sponsored by the Pacific Regional Initiative for the
outline and some details of the education reform agenda out to the Year
Development of (basic) Education (PRIDE). There is an emphasis on
2015 in this revised Framework. It now needs to gain public support and
supporting basic education in the Pacific Islands Forum Basic Education
commitment for its plans, and to secure financial and other support from
Action Plan, and in the PRIDE initiatives, which is consistent with the
national and international funding agencies and development partners. The
strategic direction adopted by the Solomon Islands education system. The
MEHRD proposes to consult further with development partners to review
PRIDE Project is also supporting the development of education strategic
this Framework in 2009.
planning in Pacific countries. The Pacific Plan is based on the concept of
3. Global and Regional Context
regionalism: that is, countries working together for their joint and individual
benefit. Regionalism under the Pacific Plan does not limit national

sovereignty. It is not intended to replace national programmes, only to
Education in the Solomon Islands, while an important national priority, is
support and complement them. This Pacific regional approach is supported
also linked to global international goals for education and to our broader
because it adds value to our own national efforts in the education sector here
regional context in the Pacific.
in the Solomon Islands.


This education strategic framework for the Solomon Islands is directly

associated with the Millennium Development Goals adopted at the turn of
4. Vision
the century by the United Nations. In particular, the emphasis on achieving
access to universal basic education for all Solomon Islands children in our

long-term strategic goals is derived directly from the second Millennium
Our vision is that all Solomon Islanders will develop as individuals and
Development goal. Millennium Development Goal No 2 sets out an aim of
possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to earn a living and to live
achieving universal primary education. The target is to ensure that all boys
in harmony with others and their environment. We envisage a united and
and girls complete primary school. The target date to achieve the Millennium
progressive society in which all can live in peace and harmony with fair and
Development Goals is 2015, and the period covered by the Solomon Islands
equitable opportunities for a better life.
Education Strategic Framework (2007-2015) is therefore aligned with this
Parents and members of the community are to develop a sense of ownership
target date.
of all educational institutions.

In addition, the UNESCO sponsored Asia and Pacific Regional Framework for

Action: Education for All sets out guiding principles, specific goals and targets
for 2015. These goals and targets were adopted by the Asia-Pacific
5. Goals
Conference on Education for All 2000 Assessment, held in Bangkok,

Thailand from 17-20 January, 2000. The education strategy of the Solomon
The long-term goals for the Solomon Islands education system are to plan
Islands is linked to and is consistent with this international and regional
and take action over the planning period (2007 to 2015) to:
development.
11


Provide equitable access to quality basic education for all children in the
and in TVET.
Solomon Islands.
• To develop and implement an improved and harmonised school

Provide access to community, technical, vocational and tertiary education
infrastructure programme for primary, secondary education and
that will meet individual, regional and national needs for a
TVET.
knowledgeable, skilled, competent and complete people.
Actions to develop and implement each of these key strategies, with an

Manage resources in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.
allocation of responsibilities and specific timelines for completion of tasks,

are included in the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 and it is expected
6. Strategies
to further develop a revised National Education Action Plan II for the period
2010-2012, which will fit in the Education Strategic Framework, 2007-2015..

Annual work plans and associated budgets will be developed by the Ministry
The overarching strategic goal is to provide universal access to quality basic
of Education and Human Resources Development to sustain the education
education for all children by 2015, and improved access to technical and
system by resourcing the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 and
vocational education and training. Government has undertaken to place
supporting the goals and strategies set out in this Education Strategic
priority on refocusing education sector expenditure on providing services at
Framework.
primary and junior secondary schools to achieve universal basic education by
Specific objectives (see also 9) that will be addressed in the longer term
2015. Six key strategies have therefore been developed as a focus for the
include:
period 2007 to 2015.
• To prepare a medium term financing framework to support the
These 6 immediate key strategies for development are the following:
education system;
• To strengthen planning, management, co-ordination and monitoring

To seek development partner support to operate schools and training
of the SWAp, in particular of the National Education Action Plan,
centres, to develop the capacity of the MEHRD and the Education
NEAP (2007-2009) and Education Sector Framework ESF, 2007-2015
Authorities, and to support teacher training at SICHE;
• To develop (like for Secondary and Tertiary education), revise (like

To develop a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (Performance
the Education Act) or finalise (like for Early Childhood) policies for
Assessment System) to monitor and evaluate the performance of the
the different sub sectors or cross cutting areas (like Teacher Training
Solomon Islands education system
and Development, decentralisation processes)

• On the basis of a national demand, to ensure longer term interest,
7. Outcomes
technical assistance (including the development of a national TA-

pool) and funding from Development Partners for the SWAp,
ESIRPII, NEAP (2007-2009), ESF (2007-2015)
The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development will direct
resources to achieve the following main outcomes:
• To develop and implement a programme of Human Resource
Development and capacity building

The following outcomes will be achieved:
• To develop and implement an improved and harmonised grants
system to support school operations in primary, secondary education
12


management of human and financial resources, a sound system of
I.
For Basic Education:
monitoring and evaluation, and effective development of appropriate

skills and competencies in the education work force.
Outcome 1 (Access and Equity): All children in the Solomon Islands

regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, location or disability have
access to Basic Education, which is including pre-school, primary,
8. Objectives
and secondary junior school till Form 3, achieved through an

adequate number of schools, classrooms, desks, dormitories and
The following objectives are derived from the strategic goals and outcomes:
other infrastructure and financial support from government and

other stakeholders
1. To increase access to all levels of education by provision of


II. For other levels and types of education:
1.1. An adequate number of schools, classrooms, desks, dormitories and

other infrastructure
Outcome 2 (Access and Equity): People in the Solomon Islands
1.2. (Financial) Support from government and other stakeholders
regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, location or disability have

improved access to relevant, demand oriented community, technical,
2. To improve equal access to all levels of education for
vocational or tertiary education achieved through an adequate

number of schools or centres, classrooms, desks, dormitories,
2.1 Children, students and people with special needs
equipment and other infrastructure and financial support from
2.2 Girls and boys, in particular in isolated locations
government and other stakeholders


3. To improve quality for all levels of education by:
III. For all levels and types of education and training:


3.1 Provision of an adequate number of qualified teachers and other

workers, in the education sector
Outcome 3 (Quality): All levels and dimensions of the Solomon
3.2 Development and maintenance of a high quality process of teaching and
Islands education system consistently demonstrate standards of
learning
excellence and deliver a quality education, which means high quality
3.3 Development, distribution and use of a relevant, high quality and modern
of learning achieved through provision of an adequate number of
national and local school curricula
qualified teachers and other workers, in the education sector, relevant
3.4 Provision of an adequate number of modern, relevant teaching and
national school curriculum and local curricula, adequate number of
learning materials, facilities, equipment and materials
modern, relevant teaching and learning materials or facilities, sound
3.5 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for all education staff
standards of student literacy and numeracy.
3.6 Monitoring and assessment of sound standards of student literacy and

numeracy and students’ progress in other subjects
IV. In relation to management:
3.7 Improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of sub sector education

systems, in particular tertiary education by giving it a more (labour)
Outcome 4 (Management): The management of the Solomon
demand oriented direction
Islands education system is effective and efficient, including effective

education policy development, planning and budgeting, effective
13

4 To improve the management of Sector Wide Education
4.4. To develop and implement a programme of Human Resource Development and
Programme by implementing the 6 Strategies (see also page 12,13)
capacity building
which includes:

• To start an Institutional and Organisational Analysis (IOA) including
4.1 Strengthening planning, budgeting, management, co-ordination and monitoring
a HR-needs analysis to support for the development of a programme
• To produce a logical framework for the SWAp which creates
for Human Resource Development and capacity building
interlinkages and increased cohesion between ESIRP II, NEAP
4.5 To develop and implement an improved and harmonised grants system to support
(2007-2009) and ESF (2007-2015) as well as among the different sub
school operations in primary, secondary education and in TVET
sectors and stakeholders involved
• To timely produce more outcome oriented and cohesive annual
• To assess the grants system to support school operations in primary,
budgeting, planning and reporting based on SIEMIS and a
secondary education and in TVET to support for the development of
Performance Assessment Framework (PAF)
a harmonised grant system.
• Revitalise TWG’s on planning/budgeting and monitoring
4.6 To develop and implement an improved and harmonised school infrastructure
• To develop a 3-year, outcome oriented Mid Term Expenditure
programme for primary, secondary education and TVET.
Framework (MTEF)
• To develop a strong sector secretariat and sector co-ordination team
• To assess the school infrastructure programme for primary,
• To develop a PAF and strengthen utilisation of SIEMIS.
secondary education and TVET to support for the development of a
• To strengthen the role of Provincial Government and Authorities in
harmonised infrastructure system.
planning, implementing and monitoring NEAP
The specific tasks, activities and/or outputs that will be undertaken over the
4.2 To develop, revise or finalise policies for the different sub sectors or cross cutting areas
period 2007-2009 in relation to each of these key objectives are set out in the
National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 in the Schedule of Activities
• To revitalise the TWG’s for policy


9. Roles
Make an inventory of all policies to be developed, revised and
finalised

Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development

• Organise inputs and participation from all kinds of actors

(Government, Development Partners, Civil Society, Private sector,
The role of the MEHRD is to provide nation-wide leadership in the
NGO’s, international agencies
implementation of this Framework and associated planning documents. Its
key responsibility is the development and implementation of effective
4.3 On the basis of a national demand, to ensure longer term interest, technical assistance
education policy. In so doing, the MEHRD shall promote, coordinate,
(including the development of a national TA-pool) and funding from Development Partners
facilitate, evaluate and report changes that will result in the equitable delivery
for the SWAp, ESIRPII, NEAP (2007-2009), ESF (2007-2015
of quality education and training services to all people throughout the
Solomon Islands.
• To finalise and to sign the Arrangement between Development

Partners and SIG and to make amendments as necessary.
The MEHRD will strengthen and establish new partnerships with
stakeholders and clients in designing, implementing and monitoring the
14

equitable and sustained delivery of education services. These are the

provincial governments, education authorities, churches, non-government
organisations, communities, parents and children.
10.
Issues And Constraints


The issues we confront are:
Role of Education Authorities

A national population growth rate estimated at 2.8% per annum (one of
The role of Education Authorities is to provide leadership in contributing to
the highest in the Pacific) and a school age cohort constituting a
the development and revision of this Framework, in implementing it,
significant proportion of the population will increase the demand for
including the associated planning documents at their level. The authorities
primary and junior secondary education. 136,624 school students were
shall coordinate, facilitate and evaluate activities approved in the Framework
enrolled in 2005. The Solomon Islands school age population (ages 6 to
and those that will enhance effective delivery of the National Education
19) is forecast to be over 185,000 in 2014, out of an estimated total
Action Plan. As well, Authorities will provide reports to MEHRD on the
population of over 577,000.
activities and changes that will occur as a result of implementing the planned
direction for the education system.

Deficiencies in access to schools, poor education facilities, and a lack of
trained teachers, materials and equipment result in less than 100% of

primary school age children attending primary school, and a low
Role of Educational Institutions
progression rate to secondary, vocational, technical, and post-secondary
education.
The role of educational institutions is to coordinate the implementation of
specific activities according to the education strategic framework. To this

The existence of a large number of small isolated rural communities in
end, all educational institutions will maintain the operation of current
the Solomon Islands means current approaches to providing educational
programmes, while at the same time they will cooperate and coordinate
services are costly and inefficient.
specified relevant activities of the Framework and provide reports to

The development of syllabuses, curriculum and learning materials,
respective Education Authorities on the effects of the Framework on the
although presently under review, has not generated a level of student
institution. Also, the institutions should provide an avenue for the inclusion
achievement that meets the expectations of parents and employers.
of parents and members of the immediate communities to enhance active
involvement in the implementation process. Educational institutions include

The assessment system in the past was designed to exclude young people
all schools and training centres in both the formal and non-formal sub-
from education rather than to assess competencies, promote learning or
sectors.
enhance teaching practice.


A generally under resourced, disparate, traditional and supply oriented
Role of Parents and Communities
technical and vocational education structure provides low quality services
The role of parents and communities is to provide support and advice on the
and fails to produce a sufficient number of people possessing the high-
application of the Framework and associated planning documents according
level skills needed for economic advancement of communities, regions or
to specific local contexts. To achieve this, community representatives are
the nation.
expected to participate in the dialogue concerning the implementation of the

A highly centralised system has become increasingly alienated from the
Framework and to be actively involved in approved activities where
very diverse local and provincial priorities and specific demands of its
necessary.
clients and fails to lead in establishing and achieving priorities.
15


A multi-layered management and inefficient administrative system has

Basic education encourages a child to adhere to and respect religious,
unclear responsibilities and lacks correlation with performance and
traditional and cultural values, beliefs, norms and codes of conduct of
increased outputs and quality of service delivery, and within it existing
Solomon Islands society;
legislation, regulations and procedures are not adhered to in a disciplined

manner.

Basic education provides the basis for a child to recognise and accept the
diversity of Solomon Islands’ culture, tradition, religion, and ethnicity

A considerable proportion of the national budget on a per capita basis is
throughout the Islands.
directed to senior secondary and tertiary education at the expense of

primary and junior secondary education.
11.

Basic Education
11.2 The Reformed Education System


11.1 Principles Underpinning Basic Education
Ten years of Basic Education will be the minimum level of formal education

provided to all school age children in Solomon Islands. This programme will
begin with the Preparatory Year followed by a coherent continuous set of
Basic Education is seen as the gradual and planned systematic introduction
learning experiences through primary schooling to Form 3. A brief outline of
of a child to worthwhile information, knowledge, skills and attitudes
the Solomon Islands education system and a structural framework diagram is
necessary to prepare that child to develop to his or her full potential to
presented in Appendices 1 & 2.
contribute fully to the community and nation. The following are the
principles on which we believe that basic education in the Solomon Islands
The MEHRD recognises that education can be shared with other education
and training providers. Understanding its obligations to ensure that quality
should be based. They provide basic principles for the development of
programmes proposed in this Framework. We believe that:
education and training is provided to its people, MEHRD will establish
policies to guide and regulate other education and training providers to

Basic education progressively introduces a child to the information,
develop and deliver quality education. Other education and training
knowledge and skills necessary for life;
providers include church and private education authorities running schools
and tertiary institutions.

Basic education is holistic; it encompasses physical, mental, social and
spiritual aspects of life;

As a matter of high priority, the MEHRD will incorporate activities within

Basic education models and shapes behaviour and attitudes compatible
other programmes and special programmes to achieve gender equity in
with the wider society in which the child is to live;
access to basic education. Of equal priority will be the need to identify the

needs of students in the 10 to 19 year old age groups who have been pushed-

Basic education provides basic skills and competencies required for
economic activity and development;
out or dropped out of formal education, and to design programmes to enable
them to re-enter the system or to progress along alternate education and

Basic education prepares a child to become self-reliant and responsible, a
training paths.
resourceful member in the community, and promotes committed and
responsible leadership;
In addition the MEHRD will conduct field studies to identify the scope of
problems of people with disabilities and identify the economic constraints to
achieving access to education and design programmes to overcome these.
16

11.3 Critical Constraints to Achieving These
Outcomes

The Framework proposes significant and substantial changes to the
structure, content and management of the education system that have been
widely discussed with stakeholders in all provinces and in many schools and
communities. We recognise the need for further consultation, and the
possibility of local level differences. We believe that there is widespread
support for the proposed changes. We therefore do not see community
support as a constraint.
The most critical constraint will be gaining access to the financial resources
required to maintain current services and to implement the Framework and
the associated planning documents.
The capacity of the national economy to generate the required budgetary
resources is limited. At best Government revenue will be barely sufficient to
maintain the current level of service. In fact, the revenue base will be
inadequate even for this task. Government will therefore rely on financial
support from its development partners if it is to sustain current service levels.
Continued support will be required from its bilateral partners.
Importantly, the Government of the Solomon Islands will require access to
substantial investment or development funds if it is to provide the teachers,
buildings and materials required to expand the system and to improve the
quality of services delivered. There has been significant support from the
European Union, through STABEX and Economic Development Funds, to
support basic and technical, vocational and further education. Similarly, the
New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) has provided
a high level of support to the Solomon Islands education system over the
period 2004-2006. And also other Development Partners maintain their
support in their specific areas, like UNICEF in Early Childhood and Basic
Education. UNICEF increased its support with an intensive and co-
ordinated response to the recent earthquake and Tsunami of April 2007. The
Republic of China and Government of Japan organise support for
infrastructure and scholarships and UNESCO gives technical assistance to its
National UNESCO office.,
17

12.
Policy Areas, Expected Policy Outcomes,
• Financing Options and Financial Sustainability
and Government Response


12.1 Policy Development, Planning, Research,
This section outlines 18 key education policy areas that have been identified
Management, Co-ordination and Monitoring
as the critical issues with which the Ministry of Education and Human

Resources Development will need to engage in order to achieve the goals
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
that lie at the centre of this Framework.


The policy issue is the need to ensure that education policy development in
The structure of each sub-section in this part of the Framework is similar.
the Solomon Islands is effective, and to strengthen the capacity to develop
The education policy issue is described, an anticipated policy outcome is
education policy in the MEHRD to support that objective. A further policy
articulated, and a Government policy response to the issue is provided.
issue is the need to strengthen planning, research, management, co-
Proposals for new investments to address the issues that have been raised are
ordination and monitoring skills in the MEHRD. Capacity also needs to be
presented.
strengthened in other stakeholders, in particular in the provinces, the

provincial government and different education authorities, but also in
The 18 key policy areas are:
NGO’s. A major constraint to effective implementation of the first three

years of the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme (ESIRP),
• Policy Development, Planning, Research, Management, Co-
phase I has been the lack of skilled human resources throughout the system .
ordination and Monitoring
This would be a challenge for the new phase II (2007-2009) as well. The
• Universal Basic Education (Primary)
Sector Wide Programme (SWAp) which caters for all sub-sectors requires
• Universal Basic Education (Junior Secondary)
strong co-ordination, communication and management of a comprehensive
• Senior Secondary Education
programme which goes beyond the level of basic education only. . The

SWAp includes the development of a dialogue with all stakeholders, from all
Early Childhood Education
levels, national and international (Development Partners) in order to involve
• Special Education
them in the development of policies, the implementation and monitoring of
• Improving Literacy and Numeracy
the programme.
• Curriculum

• Assessment
The desired policy outcome is that the MEHRD should have the
• Teacher Supply
appropriate1 capacity to develop policy, and to design, plan, co-ordinate,
• Teacher Quality
implement and monitor the existing education system and any new
• Tertiary Education
investments that are envisioned. The education system should meet the

following criteria:
Technical and Vocational Education and Training


The education system is informed and steered by education policy
Capacity Development
that has been designed and developed according to an appropriate
• Efficiency


School Infrastructure
1 “Appropriate” in terms of the size of the education system and the extent to which
• Information and Communications Technology
quantitative information is seen as important for policy formulation, planning, management
and monitoring
18

education policy framework and a robust education policy
Government Policy Response
methodology;
As an interim measure, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources
• to the extent that it is appropriate in the Solomon Islands context,
Development, in collaboration with other implementing agencies, will
policy, planning, research, co-ordination, management, assessment,
proceed with existing information and its current staff capacity, in
monitoring, administration, budget preparation, and resource
anticipation of modest improvements, over time.
allocation will be based (or, at least validated by) reliable information

and analysis, and linked to measures or indicators of learning
At the same time it will request external support to provide the needed
outcomes and social benefits;
capacity as a priority activity under the three-year National Education Action
• there will be MEHRD staff specifically responsible for these
Plan. This approach will be clearly linked to a plan and a commitment to
functions, and policy, planning, co-ordination, management, and
establish and institutionalise the required positions and functions during the
monitoring would be seen as “core” responsibilities;
framework period (2007-2015).
• the “culture” of information-based and evidence-based decision

making will be developed throughout the system (e.g. by research and
The development of this plan will require undertaking a major review of the
improved communication and monitoring systems), and staff at all
MEHRD policy and planning functions. Strengthening policy and planning
levels will be provided with necessary equipment and skills to utilise
will be a priority component of the National Education Action Plan and the
information efficiently and effectively;
associated MEHRD Corporate Plan, with a firm timeframe and indicators
• improved internal and external communication by MEHRD and
for having an information-based planning and policy capacity fully
between its main stakeholders: The burden on those responding to
operational within three years. This capacity will include addressing staffing
requests for information will be minimised, and information will be
requirements through a request for new positions and/or a re-designation of
used at all levels from the classroom through the school to the
existing posts within the MEHRD, and will address space requirements
MEHRD;
through a redesign or relocation of the MEHRD work space.
• redundant data capture and duplicated tasks will be eliminated;

• time-series data, in a consistent format, will be available for analysis;
Over the period 2004-2006 the MEHRD, with donor assistance, has
• projections and indicators, comparable to international, national and
developed the databases required to manage school returns and other data
regional norms and standards, will be generated and reviewed on a
used to monitor and plan the development of the system. The development
regular basis;
of the Solomon Islands Education Management Information System

(SIEMIS) and the associated publication of the Digest of Education Statistics
a robust monitoring and evaluation framework will be in place.
2005 marked a major step forward in collating and reporting data about the
• a research agenda, planning and budgeting system will in be in place
education system. This resource is valuable tool for education planners, and
to guarantee implementation of research and practical follow up of
for policy-makers. The development of SIEMIS needs to continue (for
studies
instance, by including reporting on tertiary education and TVET information

in the annual digest of statistics), while at the same time staff need to be
The policy methodology required will consist of, first, provision of high
trained to use the data for policy development and planning purposes. A
quality policy advice (based on existing data, new research and monitoring
Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) need to be developed in order
systems), and, second, the undertaking of policy development and analysis
to enable to organise and share with all stakeholders annual quick scans of
activities, plus policy projects.
the progress made in the education sector and the Sector Wide Programme

and to feed in the Annual Joint Reviews for new planning purposes.
19

During the period 2007-2009, the programme will focus on strengthening

MEHRD capacity in policy development, planning, research, co-ordination
Capacity building activities will be initiated through a combination of project
management and monitoring, and on strengthening communication and
support and grant funding. During the three years 2007-2009, the MEHRD
information systems and their use. The MEHRD, in collaboration with
will develop the necessary capacity to move forward in the remaining years.
other implementing agencies, will also develop the capacity it needs, and
While data collection and analysis tasks can be supported under a project,
obtain the information required to design and implement a programme for
responsibility for policy making cannot be delegated. The MEHRD will have
the remaining years of the Education Strategic Framework period (2010 to 2015).
to invest time and staff in order to engage with the implications of

information that will be produced. The principal risk of this approach is
The MEHRD will review its administration, co-ordination and management
that the culture of information-based analysis and the associated skills will
in order to strengthen its policy development role, its administrative
not be internalised in the MEHRD and that, at the end of the project, the
structure, and its capacity to deliver education more effectively. The policy
investment will be of marginal value. The benefit of this approach is that the
development and policy analysis roles of the MEHRD need to be
quantitative data and analyses needed to justify the interventions required, to
strengthened, so that its administrative structure meets the new proposed
implement the MEHRD plans, and to put them into operation, could be
national requirements, and so that its efficiency is increased.
produced relatively quickly.


The approach involves integrating information gained from selected
Education policy in the Solomon Islands is enshrined in the Education Act.
investments with an overall initiative to strengthen MEHRD capacity. This
The Education Act 1978 provides the legal basis on which the education
Education Strategic Framework identifies 18 key areas in which reform has
system is managed and administered. It defines the roles and responsibilities
been planned. Initial investment under the related three-year National
of the Minister, Secretary and the MEHRD, the Education Authorities and
Education Action Plan involves a combination of capacity building, research,
school heads. This includes procedures for establishing new schools and
strengthening data systems, and staffing reform to address the full range of
appointing teachers. The Administration Manual is based on the Act, as are
policy, planning and monitoring requirements for the Education Strategic
the Teaching Service Handbook, regulations and guidelines.
Framework period. In addition to the direct investments to be made,
The MEHRD is directly responsible for the school curriculum, examinations
investments in each of the remaining 17 policy areas include activities which
and inspections to ensure that quality education is delivered. Final authority
will provide, test and/or validate information essential to policy and
for registration of schools resides with the MEHRD. Authorities are
planning.
responsible for the operation of schools, their equipping and maintenance, as

well as provision, support and training of teachers.
By the end of 2009 (the three-year period covered by the National Education
The provisions of the Education Act, regulations and guidelines have not
Action Plan), the MEHRD will have a fully staffed policy, planning and
been rigorously applied for a number of years, with the result that
monitoring capacity with information and staff skills appropriate to this
administration of the system has become ad hoc and based on precedent.
function. SIEMIS will be fully functional to support these activities at all
Some decisions have been inconsistent with the underlying Act; this applies
levels of the system, including school and classroom management. The
especially to the processes adopted for establishing Community High
MEHRD will have developed a comprehensive and detailed plan for the next
Schools. There is a need to review administrative arrangements, make
three-year phase of the Education Strategic Framework period. Investments
revisions as necessary, including clarification and further specification of the
in each of the 18 main policy areas will have been implemented, monitored
roles and responsibilities of the MEHRD, Education Authorities and
and evaluated, and this process will constitute an important input into
Principals, and to both build and enhance the capacity of managers at all
continuing the strategic planning process.
levels, especially at the provincial authority level. Some of the reforms and
20

programmes identified in this Framework imply changes to the Education
of Standard 6. This universal basic education should meet the following
Act of 1978 and other legislation and regulations. In order to strengthen and
criteria:
clarify its education policy development role, and to update the current
• education should be available to all primary school children on an
legislative provisions to reflect current practice, the Government of the
equitable basis;
Solomon Islands through the Ministry of Education and Human Resources
• the education should be of high quality, should promote student
Development may need to consider a review of the Education Act.
achievement at a high level, and should meet individual and national
Proposed Investments
needs; and
• it should be delivered by competent, qualified and motivated teachers;
The following investments are proposed:
and
Strengthen Policy Planning and Evaluation

• it should be compulsory and free.
• Support consultative policy forums


The education policy issues include:
Identify information required to manage education system

• Train staff in using the Education Management Information System
• how the Government can move towards accepting responsibility for
(with a focus on all staff, including those at sub-sectoral and lower
providing a universal basic education for all primary school children,
levels in the education system)
given the constraints of limited resources.
• Develop, strengthen, improve, and implement a policy framework
• what implications there are for the age at which primary schooling
• Develop an education policy & planning methodology
should begin.
• Provide high quality policy advice
• what implications, if any, the policy of universal basic education for
• Undertake policy studies and research
all primary school pupils might have for revising staffing
• Review the Education Act
arrangements (pupil: teacher ratios) at all levels of the primary school
Capacity Building & Support Services

system;
• Identify and develop the skills required to implement the National
• how an estimated 1300 unqualified primary school teachers can gain
Education Action Plan
access to good quality teacher training;
• Appoint staff (policy, IT & property analysts)
• the impact that increased funding (either directly to staff through
• Train staff (including policy analysts, IT specialists, & property staff)
salaries, or through grants to schools) would have on resources for

other inputs, the likely impact on the quality of education, and any
Undertake capacity building activities
differential impact between schools and communities in various parts

of the country in their ability to raise additional funds;
12.2 Universal Basic Education (Primary)
• what intervention or combination of interventions (expanding

existing government primary schools, establishing extension schools
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
or new schools, additional support for church schools) is appropriate;
The policy issue is how to deliver universal basic education to all children of
• how to improve the partnership between the Government and Non-
primary school age in the Solomon Islands. The desired policy outcome is
Government education authorities;
that there be universal basic education in the Solomon Islands for all children
in the primary education sector, that is from the Preparatory Year to the end
21

• whether there is an aggregate need (independent of ownership) for

additional classroom places, and the cost-effectiveness of
For purposes of forward planning, it will be critical that the Government
investments in new physical infrastructure;
develop and announce a clear set of principles and intentions. If
• whether there is a need for investment (given the unique situation of
Government provision is to be expanded to accommodate all primary school
the geography of Solomon Islands schools) to improve provision of
students, this commitment will have implications for legislation governing
basic facilities such as water and sanitation in schools, in order to
school attendance and possibly for the age at which students start primary
protect the health and safety of all primary school children;
school. It will have implications for teacher supply, pre-service and in-service
• projections as to whether additional facilities will be used in future,
teacher training, and for the provision of school facilities. The policy may
given trends in population growth and internal and external
also have downstream implications for the organisation and viability of both
migration (i.e. school mapping and siting issues);
Government and Non-Government primary schools.


the level of any additional support that would be needed to trigger
The age at which pupils should be required to begin their primary schooling
the elimination of school fees at both Government and non-
is a key policy issue in this context. The current law allows parents of
Government primary schools, and whether this should be done in
children in the Solomon Islands to enrol their children at primary school at
stages or as a comprehensive policy change;
any time between the ages of 6 and 9. In practice most parents in the
• the danger of unintended consequences, and contingencies to deal
Solomon Islands now enrol their children in the “preparatory year” in
with any changes;
primary schools at about age 6.
• policy on whether students should be retained in order to promote

improved learning, or socially promoted each year;
The Minister of Education is consulting with people in the Solomon Islands
• policy on equality of teaching/learning across all systems; and
on whether an amendment should be made to the Education Act to specify
• policy on recognising the development levels of girls and boys.
the age at which parents would be required to enrol their child in a primary

school. He is considering two possibilities. One possibility is to require all
Government Policy Response
children to be enrolled in a primary school by age 6. Another possibility is to
In order to reach the ultimate goal of universal attendance at primary school,
require all children to be enrolled in a primary school by age 7.
the Government has made a commitment in principle to fund the full cost of

the education of all primary school students in both Government and non-
The reason for seeking to change the current law is that the early years of a
Government schools. In 2005, 14.8% of primary school students were
child’s life are critical for that child’s development. While parents have a
enrolled in non-Government schools. The results of the Government’s
central role in nurturing and developing their child, the education system also
policy commitment to universal basic education at the primary school level
has an important role. Regular attendance at school is essential to assist
are evident in the increased proportion of students in the Solomon Islands
students to maximise their potential. Early access to education at primary
reported as attending primary school in the Digest of Education Statistics 2005 (a
school helps every child develop a range of skills and understandings needed
net enrolment ratio for primary education of 86% in 2004, and an increase to
in society. The skills learnt at school include language development
94% in 2005). A strategic plan will be developed to achieve the desired
(speaking, listening, reading and writing) and number skills, social skills,
objective of 100% participation in primary schooling. Policy will need to be
motor development skills, and a range of other skills and understandings
developed on how this objective might be achieved, how any additional
which all people need to function effectively in the modern world. Early
funding required might be found, and where exactly any funding would be
intervention by teachers when the child is young will also help the child’s
targeted.
learning and development, and will help prevent failure or alienation at a later
22

stage in life. For these reasons most countries around the world require
consultative processes required to design and negotiate strategies required to
compulsory attendance of children in a primary school from a specified age.
move toward full government funding and universal, free, compulsory

education through to the end of primary schooling (standard six).
Schools, in partnership with parents, are responsible for promoting the

regular attendance of students. Encouraging regular attendance is a core
The strategy during 2007-2009 would be designed to identify those students
school responsibility. Requiring all children in the Solomon Islands to be
of school age not attending primary school, to encourage parents to enrol
enrolled at primary school by a specified age (say, age 6 or age 7) will assist
them, and/or to identify the barriers to their enrolment in primary schooling.
each child’s individual physical, intellectual and social development, and will
A related policy issue is whether there should be any restriction on transfer
bring longer-term benefits for the country as a whole through a well-
of students between schools. There is some concern that urban schools are
educated citizenry.
under increasing enrolment pressure as a result of internal migration within

the country.
In considering this issue, due regard has to be had for the special

characteristics of the Solomon Islands (its people, geography and culture, the
The Government’s decision to make primary education free has been a
location of the primary schools, and the distance young children might have
significant factor in increasing the number and proportion of students
to travel to school). Parents’ views about how the young should be brought
attending primary school. The Government will need to monitor the “free”
up in Solomon Islands society are also important.
education policy to ensure there is consistency across the country.


In the context of considering when to make school attendance compulsory,
The strategy would also be targeted at improving standards in primary
it may be necessary to consider whether legislation should also allow parents
schooling, with minimum cost. A key dimension of this strategy would be
to be given the right to educate their children at home (home schooling).
investment in improving teacher education. The strategy would assist the

MEHRD and non-Government partners in identifying the best strategies for
It is an issue whether the “Preparatory Year” should be included within the
gaining maximum impact on learning outcomes, and would help to
early childhood sector or considered part of the primary school sector. Pupils
strengthen the collaborative relationship needed to move towards free,
enrolling in this year are usually aged about 6. The Government’s preliminary
universal provision of basic education for all primary school children.
view is that the “Preparatory Year” should be considered part of formal

primary schooling, in order to recognise the importance of education at this
The MEHRD will provide policy guidance and technical support to schools
early stage of a child’s life. However, the education offered to pupils at this
and systems in helping them to identify critical constraints to quality
stage should be based on a developmental curriculum that is consistent with
improvement, and to design school improvement plans. Each school will use
an early childhood education philosophy, and which allows the child to learn
part of its annual grant to develop and implement its plan. Once the annual
in an environment which fosters creativity and self expression, rather than in
plan is agreed, schools will receive an additional grant to assist in financing
an environment dedicated to regimentation and drill.
non-salary inputs required to meet objectives. Schools will be required to

implement a monitoring system to assess the impacts of school improvement
During the next three years (2007-2009) investments will focus on improving
plans. Responsibility for implementation and management will rest entirely
the quality and efficiency of education services in primary schools by
with the provincial or non-Government school controlling authorities. The
continuing to provide resources for non-salary recurrent inputs in the form
MEHRD will provide assistance by providing examples of best practice and
of school grants, and by improving the implementation and management of
options, but full responsibility and control will rest with the provincial
these grants. The investment will also support data collection, analyses and
education authorities and the non-Government education authorities.
23



This activity would initially be funded through a special fund. During the
12.3 Universal Basic Education (Junior Secondary)
course of 2007-2009 the MEHRD, in consultation with the Ministry of

Finance and development partners would move to restructure the annual
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
budget submission. Provisions would be agreed to ensure that additional
Government resources were allocated to non-salary recurrent inputs to
The policy issue is how to provide universal basic education for all Solomon
match any funds to be provided by development partners.
Islands students of junior secondary school age (approximate ages 13 to 15)

when the number of places is restricted and population growth in the age
Outputs and outcomes anticipated during 2007-2009 include the following:
cohort is expanding. The desired policy outcome is that all children in the

junior secondary age cohort have access to educational services appropriate
• Identification of the recurrent cost implications of enrolling all Solomon
to their interests and abilities. The education system should meet the
Islands pupils aged either 6 or 7 and over in primary schooling.
following criteria:
• The implementation, assessment and validation of a range of strategies
Beyond standard 6, all Solomon Islands young people will have
and options for best using additional resources to maximise student
access to a place at a junior secondary school (either at a national
learning outcomes.
secondary school, at a provincial secondary school, or at a

community high school);
A comprehensive plan for moving to fully-funded free primary school
Beyond standard 6, Solomon Islanders will have increased options
education, with specific agreements on the elimination of fees at non-
for alternative training paths and will receive partial support in
Government schools on a quid pro quo basis.
identified high priority areas;
• Improved public perceptions regarding the quality and desirability of
Both government and non-government providers will have equal
education at primary schools.
access to public support under a system that links finance to output

and outcomes; and
Proposed Investments
The MEHRD will assume responsibility for establishing and

monitoring quality and performance standards in institutions and
The following investments are proposed, and will be included in the National
programmes receiving public funds.
Education Action Plan:



The education policy issues include:


Develop policy on age at which attendance at school is compulsory


how the Government can move towards accepting responsibility for
UBE implementation plan developed and approved
providing a universal basic education for all students who wish to
• Provide additional funding support for pre-service education for
enrol in junior secondary schools, given the constraints of limited
training of primary school teachers at Solomon Islands College of
resources;
Higher Education
• how and when the Government can move to phase out the Solomon
• Provide help to schools with school improvement grants
Islands Secondary Entrance Examination at the end of standard 6;
• Provide per capita grants to Government and non-Government
• how to ensure sufficient trained teachers are available to meet the
schools for non-salary recurrent costs
anticipated expansion in student numbers;
• Assess the impact of school improvement grants
24

• how to provide sufficient junior secondary school places to meet
schools into forms 1, 2, 3 and even beyond, without first ensuring that
demand, given the limitations and constraints on existing
sufficient properly trained teachers are available and that appropriate facilities
infrastructure;
and equipment can be provided. Improved planning is required. The central
• how the current rapid expansion of community high schools will be
Government proposes to establish criteria that provinces will need to meet
controlled to ensure standards of quality are maintained, and issues of
prior to expanding provision through extension of existing primary schools
equity and management are addressed;
to become community high schools or through establishment of new
• how to develop a flexible system, responsive to changes in the
community high schools.
national and global environment, with provisions to redirect focus;


The expansion of community high schools has been rapid in recent years.
how to offer junior secondary school students a range of aptitudes
Most of these schools are day schools. In order to maintain access to form 1
and interests and to provide equal opportunity and support for
for students who live in remote areas, it will be necessary to designate some
alternative pathways;
CHSs as boarding schools. Decisions as to which schools should be awarded
• how to serve the needs of junior secondary school age children, to
boarding school status should be made on the basis of a careful analysis of
ensure that they have the skills and competencies required for both a
geographical factors, population density data and population trends.
local and a global economy; and

• how to ensure that service providers meet agreed quality standards
The rapid development of CHSs has met community expectations of easier
and that students and taxpayers are getting value for money.
and more convenient access to secondary schooling, and has been valuable in

meeting equity and access objectives. The rapid and uncontrolled expansion
Government Policy Response
of CHSs has, however, brought with it a risk of poor quality of delivery. The
MEHRD, in consultation with provincial education authorities, will

undertake a stocktake before any proposals to establish further new CHSs
The two key issues are ensuring access to form 1, and maintaining quality.
are approved, and will also consider whether mergers of CHSs may be
The Government of the Solomon Islands will make a commitment in
appropriate in order to maintain quality.
principle both to provide sufficient places and to move (over time) to fund a

substantial proportion of the cost of the education of all students in forms 1,
In urban school settings, with community support, schools should be
2 & 3 in either Government or non-Government schools. A strategic plan
allowed to enrol students up to forms 5 & 6, but prior approval of MEHRD
will be developed to achieve the desired objective. Policy will need to be
will be needed to secure support and finance.
developed on how additional funding might be found, and on priorities for

expenditure. Implementation of the policy might need to be staged over a
The Government also proposes a fundamental revision of the junior
period of several years, and may not be fully achievable within the time frame
secondary curriculum, providing more courses and opportunities for those
of this Education Strategic Framework.
students in school who elect to follow a non-academic path. This curriculum

development essentially involves expanding the range of programmes on
The Provincial Education Action Plans and the National Education Action
offer in existing junior secondary schools. At the same time it will develop
Plan have signalled plans to expand existing community high schools and to
policy to promote a seamless movement between secondary and tertiary
establish new ones to accommodate the projected growth in enrolments over
education institutions.
the period 2007-2009. These plans will need to be carefully staged and

controlled to ensure that the education of young people is not compromised
by poor planning and premature decisions to expand provision of primary
25

In tandem with this approach, the Government will expand alternative
12.4 Senior Secondary Education
opportunities for the junior secondary age cohort out of school. This

approach envisages providing public support for those of a designated range
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
of age cohorts who select technical and vocational training options outside

schools.
The policy issues are how to meet expectations for increased access to senior

secondary education, and how to ensure that girls get equal access to
During the period 2007-2009, investments will focus on improving the
education at this level. The desired policy outcome is that all young people in
quality and efficiency of junior secondary education services by providing
the senior secondary age cohort (approximate ages 16 to 18) have access to
additional resources for non-salary recurrent inputs in the form of school
educational services appropriate to their interests and abilities. Public funds
improvement grants. The investment will also support data collection,
should be allocated in an equitable manner, and skills provided to these
analyses and consultative processes required to design and negotiate
young people should allow them to contribute to national development and
strategies required to move toward full government funding and universal
enable them to obtain marketable skills, while at the same time promoting
basic education through to the end of form 3, with high quality service
integration into village life for those who will not travel further afield.
delivery by all providers.


The education system should meet the following criteria:
Proposed Investments
beyond form 3, Solomon Islanders would have increased options for

alternative training paths and would receive partial support in
The following investments are proposed, and will be included in the National
identified high priority areas;
Education Action Plan:
beyond form 3, girls will have equal access to education alongside

boys;
• Provide funding for school improvement grants at community high
the relevance of skill training investments would be reflected in
schools, provincial secondary schools, and national secondary
increased employment;
schools
all providers (both Government and Non-Government) would have
• Provide additional funding support for pre-service education for
equal access to public support under a system that linked finance to
training of junior secondary school teachers at the Solomon Islands
output and outcomes; and
College of Higher Education
the MEHRD would assume the responsibility of establishing and
• Revise curricula and provide learning materials to cater for
monitoring quality and performance standards in institutions and
agriculture, industrial arts, home economics & technology
programmes receiving public funds.
• Establish pilot projects to develop technical and vocational training

initiatives
The education policy issues include:
• Undertake impact assessments of alternative service delivery modes


• how to develop a flexible system, responsive to changes in the

national and global environment, with provisions to redirect focus;

• how to serve senior secondary age students with a range of aptitudes

and interests and to provide equal opportunity and support for
alternative pathways;
26

• how to ensure that girls get equal access to senior secondary
In tandem with this approach, the Government of the Solomon Islands will
education alongside boys, that facilities such as dormitories for girls
expand opportunities for the secondary age cohort out of school. This
are constructed where necessary, and that an appropriate curriculum
approach envisages providing public support for those of a designated range
for girls is delivered;
of age cohorts who select technical and vocational training options outside
• how to ensure sufficient trained senior secondary teachers are
schools. The actual mechanism used might involve a voucher or entitlement
available to meet increased student numbers;
(probably a subsidy delivered to an institution) for vocational, technical or
• how to develop an appropriate and integrated qualifications
life skills training delivered by Government and non-Government providers.
framework that allows students pursuing non-academic areas to gain
The MEHRD Secondary Division would develop the capacity to administer
credit and recognition which could be applied to further education;
a system of vouchers or an entitlement system (possibly needs-based), and to

set and monitor standards of training providers in non-school settings.
how to serve the needs of senior secondary school age young people

who may travel as adults (either internally within the Solomon
The MEHRD will analyse the downstream implications for senior secondary
Islands, or overseas), ensuring that they have the skills and
schools of the proposal to phase out the SISEE. One implication is that
competencies required in a global economy;
appropriate selection criteria are necessary if students are to be selected for
• how to ensure that service providers meet agreed policy standards
entry to National Secondary Schools, especially at senior levels.
and that students and taxpayers are getting value for money; and

• how to ensure that the system is sufficiently flexible to accommodate
It has been proposed that Provincial Secondary Schools and the National
changes in the labour market and economy, and that the MEHRD
Secondary Schools should become, at some point in the future, senior
has the required information and flexible options to redirect areas of
secondary schools enrolling students in forms 4, 5, 6 and 7 only, while the
focus and support in response.
community high schools would enrol all students in forms 1, 2 and 3. This

proposal will be the subject of careful policy analysis based on relevant data,
Government Policy Response
a cost/benefit analysis, and consideration of the advantages and

disadvantages of all possible options. The MEHRD will consider the
The Government of the Solomon Islands will continue to strengthen the
potential downstream impact of such a decision on access to forms 1, 2 and
current academic programme, and at the same time revise the senior
3 in a period of roll growth, given the Government’s commitment to
secondary curriculum, to provide more courses and opportunities for those
universal basic education in junior secondary schools. The likely educational,
students in school who elect to follow a non-academic path. This approach
social and financial consequences in terms of future enrolments on the
essentially involves expanding the range of programmes on offer in existing
schools in question, and the educational advantages and disadvantages of
institutions. At the same time it will develop policy to promote a seamless
such a policy decision will also be examined. PSSs and NSSs have indicated
movement between secondary and tertiary institutions. This approach could
that they will find it hard to no longer enrol students in forms 1, 2 & 3 if
involve the provision of targeted funding to secondary schools to enable
these senior secondary school restructuring proposals proceed. An
them to purchase instruction or places in short vocational or technical
assessment will also be made of community reaction to the proposal before
courses at some post-secondary providers for selected students for part of
any decision is taken.
the school day (the New Zealand “STAR” funding (secondary/tertiary

alignment resource) is an example of this type of initiative).
There currently appears to be some gender discrimination against women in

the senior secondary sector and in tertiary education. It may be necessary to
introduce single-sex (girls only) schools or streams to address this issue.
27


12.5 Early Childhood Education
A longer-term objective (beyond the three–year horizon of the National

Education Action Plan, but possibly within the period 2007-2015) would be
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
to provide incentives for efficient delivery of education appropriate to the
needs of all students in the 13 to 18 year-old age cohort (both junior and

senior secondary education). Over time, public finance could be reconfigured
The policy issue is how to ensure increased access to early childhood
to follow individuals (through scholarships and/or vouchers) in targeted
education. The desired policy outcome is that the Solomon Islands has an
skills areas. The system would include non-academic courses. This option
education system that ensures equal access to early childhood education
would maximise freedom of choice and encourage competition. This
(ECE) (i.e. pre-school education). There is strong international evidence of a
approach would also provide greater flexibility in skills targeting and in the
high rate of return from investments in early childhood education. Pre-
annual level of financing. Government and non-Government post-school
school education is important for laying the foundation for primary
training institutions (e.g. rural training centres) would be developed that
schooling. There are also equity dimensions: children from least advantaged
would enrol students alongside junior and senior secondary schools. Rural
communities are likely to benefit most from early childhood education.
training centres run by non-Government providers would be supported with

partial government funding, and programmes that serve the clients (including
The fundamental principle underlying support for early childhood education
those in the secondary school age cohort) would become autonomous and
is that a child’s development can be fostered by positive learning experiences
self financing in order to “level the playing field.”
in the early years, and that such experiences, based on a developmentally

appropriate curriculum, provide an excellent foundation for formal

schooling. Access to organised pre-schooling leads to improved achievement
Proposed Investments
levels of children in primary schools, when compared with those who do not

have access to such provision. There is a need for formal recognition of the
The following investments are proposed:
importance of the role of the early childhood education sector in child
• Provide funding for school improvement grants at community high
development. The growth and development of this sector, and support for
schools, provincial secondary schools, and national secondary
parents in their roles, needs to be acknowledged as a priority because of the
schools
positive impact investment in the sector has upon children’s development.
• Provide additional funding support for pre-service education for

training of senior secondary school teachers at the Solomon Islands
The Government interventions proposed to support early childhood
College of Higher Education
education are also based on the principle that the formal education system

should recognise, and build upon, the important role parents play in the
Revise curricula and provide learning materials to cater for
education of their children. Parent education that recognises the role of
agriculture, industrial arts, home economics & technology
parents as first teachers in the very early years contributes positively to
• Establish pilot projects to develop technical and vocational training
children’s subsequent progress in formal schooling. There is potential to
initiatives
further support parents and families in this important task.
• Implement training for teachers delivering technical and vocational

curricula




28


incentives to improve the qualifications of teachers in the early
Government Policy Response
childhood sector, such as financial subsidies (through the scholarship

system) for access to University of the South Pacific and other
International experience and research highlights the importance of early
tertiary institution courses in early childhood education for people
childhood learning in establishing the social values and attitudes and
wishing to work in this area in the community;
achievement of children in the formal education environment. The MEHRD
support for the attachment of early childhood centres to primary
proposes a combination of policy responses, including direct and indirect
schools, or development of new early childhood centres, in areas
support for early childhood education by the Government. The present
where there is no provision;
policy of encouraging community initiatives and community ownership of
support for parent education initiatives; and
early childhood initiatives in local communities should be continued. This
undertaking an analysis of the long-term implications of providing a
policy is having the positive effect of leading gradually to an extension of
subsidy for enrolments in early childhood education.
provision of early childhood education in the Solomon Islands. Community

ownership and direct involvement of parents in supporting these early
Resource constraints preclude the immediate adoption of a direct
childhood initiatives have strengths that should be fostered.
Government funding subsidy for enrolments in early childhood education at

this time. At a later stage, a direct funding subsidy for pre-school education
As a means of improving quality, the MEHRD will develop a system of
based on actual enrolments could be considered. Direct Government
incentives to encourage teachers in the early childhood sector to improve
financial support should be considered only when a more developed
their qualifications. The existing field-based training will continue. At the
infrastructure and an improved information base for the early childhood
same time, the MEHRD will move gradually to increase its formal support of
sector has been established.
early childhood education through a number of strategies.


Proposed Investments
These strategies include


The following investments are proposed:
finalisation of the policy for ECE

formal registration of all pre-schools and kindergartens;
• Undertake registration of all pre-school centres.
development of an early childhood education curriculum;
• Review ECE curriculum and develop culturally appropriate learning
production and dissemination of culturally appropriate
materials.
developmental learning resources;
• Develop and implement training programmes (including field-based
provision of additional pre-service teacher training for early
training programmes) for early childhood teachers.
childhood teachers at Solomon Islands College of Higher Education;
• Set up pilot projects (demonstration or model centres) for
provision of in-service training and professional development
community-based ECE centres.
programmes for existing teachers at the early childhood level;
• Develop policy for provision of subsidies for ECE education.
strengthening the sustainability of the ECE programme, especially

the Field Based Training Programme, through assessment of

probationers, and monitoring of training;


29

12.6 Special Education


The MEHRD proposes a combination of policy responses, including direct
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
and indirect support for special education by the Government. While the
current community initiatives to support those with special needs are to be

encouraged, the Government now wishes to consider how it might provide
The key policy issue is how to provide appropriate education for students
additional targeted support. A draft special education strategic plan has been
with disabilities. The desired policy outcome is that the Solomon Islands has
developed for consideration by the MEHRD. This plan sets out guiding
an education system that ensures equal access to education and training for
principles and goals, and suggests areas for further attention.
those children and adults with special learning needs. Those people with

special learning needs include the physically handicapped, the visually
At present the Solomon Islands Red Cross implements a special education
impaired (the blind or near-sighted), those with hearing impairment (the
programme for children with disabilities. There is a need to decentralise
deaf), those with speech defects, and those with intellectual disabilities. The
services, since only one centre is not enough. There is also a case for state
category of those with special needs also includes the emotionally disturbed.
support of children with disabilities, rather than leaving the responsibility to

the private sector or the community. There are currently few specialist
The rationale for Government intervention is based on the principle that
teachers of children with disabilities in the Solomon Islands, and the needs
access to education should be provided to enable all people with disabilities
are much greater than can be met by the current small number of specialist
to develop to their full potential. Students with physical and intellectual
teachers.
disabilities face impediments that make access to learning difficult, and as a

matter of equity should be assisted to take their place in the formal education
The MEHRD accepts that there is a need for clear direction and policy on
sector and develop fully as individuals.
special education (education for children with disabilities or special learning

needs, and also for adults with disabilities). It would be appropriate to
The first step in improving the opportunities for students with physical or
undertake a review of special education needs in the Solomon Islands. A
intellectual difficulties is to recognise their rights to access education. Such
survey has already been done for the Ministry of Health, and could be used
recognition will bring obligations which the MEHRD will need to meet.
as a basis for future policy direction
While education of disabled children was previously catered for in the

Solomon Islands by the extended family, this policy has meant that
A clear message that the claim of students with disabilities has been
considerable human potential has remained undeveloped, owing to lack of
recognised would be provided if the MEHRD was able to appoint a special
access to education. Focused intervention would prevent this wastage of
education adviser. A special education adviser could devise a work plan that
human potential. There exists therefore a need to provide more effective
would include a thorough survey of the needs of students with disabilities, an
support, particularly for people with special needs who are of school age.
outline of the assistance available through NGOs and other regional bodies,

an assessment of the potential for incorporating some special education
Government Policy Response
training into the course offerings at SICHE and provision of assistance for
the development of individually targeted curricula by teachers.
The MEHRD wishes to support the special needs of children and adults with

physical and intellectual disabilities by recognising that these children and
The MEHRD accepts that training in catering for children with disabilities
adults need to have access to appropriate educational opportunities, and by
needs to be provided for every teacher. Special education and inclusive
supporting policies to provide this support within the acknowledged resource
education should be included in the SICHE curriculum.
constraints.
30


teachers at SICHE (i.e. additional specialist training for regular
The MEHRD would undertake to move towards formal support of children
trained teachers); and
with special needs through a number of strategies, staged over a period of
supporting classes for adults with special needs in the community.
years. These strategies include:

undertaking a review of special education provision in the Solomon
Proposed Investments
Islands, by inviting donors to fund specialist technical assistance to

help the MEHRD undertake a formal review, by establishing
The following investments are proposed:
national working parties to support the review, and by considering in


this review the issue of mainstreaming children with special needs
within the formal education system, and the costs and benefits
• Appoint special education advisor(s).
(social and financial), of such a policy for the Solomon Islands
• Baseline survey of current provision for children and adults with
education system;
special needs.
conducting a baseline survey to ascertain the nature, number and
• Review of special education provision in the Solomon Islands.
extent of children with special needs (including those children
• Develop an approved plan to support education for learners with
currently attending schools, and those whose needs are too acute and
special needs
who do not attend school);
• Provision of learning materials and specialist equipment for learners
establishing a central database with detailed information about those
with special needs.
people (adults and children) who have special learning needs, having

due regard to privacy considerations;
12.7 Improving Literacy and Numeracy
providing assistance for special needs children in existing schools

through
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
• a special needs component in all pre-service teacher training,
• providing teachers of children with special needs with

professional development opportunities and targeted in-
The policy issue is how to address the weakness in standards of literacy and
service training to assist them to help each child with special
numeracy as revealed in the results of the Solomon Islands Standardised
needs, and
Tests of Achievement (SISTA). The desired policy outcomes are that

students at all levels will develop proficiency in a vernacular language, that
training of teacher aides who could provide individual
students will speak, understand and read English by the end of Standard 6,
assistance to children with special learning needs;
and that students will be competent in oral and written English by the end of
reviewing the school curriculum to ensure that it caters adequately
secondary schooling. Students will also develop proficiency in everyday
for children with special learning needs, and making available
mathematical skills.
appropriate learning materials and equipment for special education;
The Solomon Islands, in common with other countries in Melanesia, is
provision of incentives to improve the qualifications of teachers in
characterised by a variety of indigenous vernacular languages, most of which
the special education field, such as financial subsidies (possibly
are primarily used in an oral context. Both English and Pijin are also used as
through the scholarship system) for supporting access to special
a common means of communication (‘lingua franca”). All Solomon Islanders
education programmes for teachers of special needs children offered
need to be literate in English. Students also need to have opportunities to
by tertiary education providers, including the University of the South
learn other languages.
Pacific, and making provision for training of special education
31


problems identified with student literacy, assistance for a supply of primary
Education policy issues include determining appropriate language teaching
readers in vernacular languages is therefore a high priority. The most
methodologies, the appropriate point at which the language of instruction in
immediate mechanism for meeting such demand is the adaptation/
schools may need to switch from a vernacular language to English, and
translation of existing relevant readers from other countries, and/or
appropriate diagnosis and support of language learning difficulties.
reprinting existing readers in selected Solomon Islands vernacular languages.


Basic literacy and numeracy skills are essential to success in education and are
There is a perceived need (evident from the workshops held to discuss the
the right of all children. Two key principles therefore underpin policy on
Provincial Education Action Plans) to improve basic literacy and numeracy
languages and literacy:
levels throughout the schooling system. Support and resources are required

to allow teachers to diagnose and address learning difficulties experienced by
• effective education builds on the child’s early learning in the mother
students at an early age. Early intervention, diagnosis and remediation can
tongue;
keep a student on track in his or her schooling, and avoid more expensive
• literacy in the first language is needed before the introduction of
remedial work, and other undesirable consequences, at a later age. More
reading and writing in the second language can take place.
resources need to be directed at diagnosing and addressing the literacy and

numeracy difficulties experienced by students in the early years of primary
The adoption of these principles will ensure the enhancement of the
schooling.
vernacular languages and Solomon Islands culture. Pijin in this context can

be considered a “vernacular” language. Many schools will choose to use
There is recognition that increasing globalisation, the Solomon Islands trade
English as the language of instruction from the Preparatory Year, since for
and relations in the Pacific with other English-speaking nations, and the fact
some children English is the mother tongue.
that English is used as the language of much business in the Solomon Islands

make proficiency in English for all Solomon Islanders a necessity.
While the vernacular language may be more important in the early years,

English becomes of equal or more importance by the time form 1 is reached.
Government Policy Response
The key to achieving student competence in literacy is the development of

high standards of literacy and effective literacy teaching methodologies by
The MEHRD will review the existing language policy on languages, literacy,
teachers, both in English and in a vernacular language. The teaching of
and bilingualism. It will develop a comprehensive policy on languages,
reading is fundamental. Good quality reading materials are needed to assist
literacy, bilingualism, and the language of instruction, including use of
classroom teachers in developing literacy.
diagnostic instruments at an early stage of primary schooling to identify

students with literacy problems. The policy will include provision for
Development of skills in numeracy is also essential for survival in the
intensive retraining of teachers, and development and distribution of learning
modern world. Counting, numbering, calculating, measuring, and estimating
resources (graded readers and quality books) in both English and Solomon
are basic skills that we use every day.
Islands vernacular languages (including Pijin).


Effective learning is predicated on good literacy and numeracy skills. There is
In undertaking a review of the existing language policy on languages, literacy,
growing evidence that good levels of literacy in the students’ first language
and bilingualism, the MEHRD intends to take into account the fact that all
improves their learning of all subjects taught later in a second language. High
Government primary schools will follow language teaching methodologies
priority should be given to early learning in a vernacular language. Given the
that recognise the first language of the majority of students. Basic literacy will
32

be established in a vernacular language alongside the introduction of English.
High priority will be given to developing, producing and distributing quality
While the main language of instruction in Government primary schools will
learning resources to support the development of literacy and numeracy
be English, a vernacular language may be used up to the end of Standard 2,
(both graded readers and good quality books), both in English and in
while a bilingual approach (both a vernacular language and English) will be
Solomon Islands vernacular languages. Investment will be made in the
used to support instruction in Standards 4, 5 & 6. English will be the main
development of quality, attractive learning materials for the first three years
language of instruction from Form 1 onwards.
of the primary school, by employing writers who are fluent in selected

Solomon Islands vernacular languages, and who are also competent teachers
The MEHRD will reactivate the Vernacular Language Task Force to advise it
knowledgeable about the curriculum. In addition, an adequate supply of
on the development of language policy. It is recognised that production of
books, both in English and in selected Solomon Islands vernacular
vernacular language materials to go with a vernacular language policy will be
languages, will be made available for use across the curriculum.
a challenge. The MEHRD will undertake research as part of policy

development into the lessons on vernacular education learned elsewhere,
The public policy questions on the language of instruction involve a trade-off
especially in the Pacific.
between the need for retention of Solomon Islands culture, the importance

of the Solomon Islands vernacular languages to national identity, the sheer
Through this appointed task force, CDC will facilitate the development of
number of these vernacular languages in a small but geographically dispersed
policy on the teaching of vernacular languages to include a pilot project
country, and the reality that most Solomon Islanders speak a vernacular
coordinated by MEHRD and other relevant organisations. In order to
language as their mother tongue when they start school. Alongside these
develop a policy on vernacular education, the Government will need to
issues is the importance of English as an international language and the
analyse carefully the implications of posting teachers with the appropriate
language of discourse in much business in the Solomon Islands, and the
language skills to teach in their area of origin.
need to develop an appropriate policy on bilingualism and schooling that

recognises that proficiency in English as well as in at least one Solomon
To support any new language policy, significant investment will be required
Islands vernacular language is essential.
in appropriate in-service training to develop skills in teaching literacy in both

Solomon Islands vernacular languages and English by early childhood and
Different views have been expressed on the stage at which it is appropriate
primary school teachers. This investment is intended to ensure that primary
to switch to learning in English in the school system. Policy on this issue will
school teachers will be adequately trained and appropriately skilled to meet
be further developed by the MEHRD. Current policy is that primary schools
the stated language objectives for the curriculum. Solomon Islands culture
are required to offer instruction in English.
will also be taught throughout all schools from the Preparatory Year to form

7.
The MEHRD may need to develop a core of education advisers as specialists

in literacy and numeracy. Additional resources will be needed for this
Diagnostic instruments will be developed and used at an early stage of
proposal to become a reality. The possibility of a partnership between these
primary schooling to identify students with literacy problems. These
MEHRD specialists and an overseas tertiary education institution will also be
diagnostic instruments will include a major focus on diagnosing students’
investigated.
reading skills through use of techniques such as the individual running record

of a students’ progress in reading. Individual remediation by the class
Opportunities should be made available to learn languages other than
teacher, based on this assessment, should follow if necessary.
English (French, Mandarin, Japanese and German, for instance).


33

Proposed Investments
cultures and customs, (e.g. music, creative arts, carving, fine arts and

traditional architecture), and sports;
The following investments are proposed:
• the extent to which the current curriculum includes sufficient practical

skills and abilities to meet the needs of the non-academic student;
• Review language & bilingualism policy & training programmes.
• the appropriate relationship between Solomon Islands curriculum
• Develop a National Literacy & Numeracy Strategic Plan.
objectives and assessment criteria and procedures;


Complete the monitoring system (SISTA) by developing a system of
the balance between the extent to which the school curriculum captures
objective measures and benchmarks at other levels in addition to the
the uniqueness of Solomon Islands culture and prepares students for life
Standard 4 tests.
in the Solomon Islands, and the extent to which the curriculum develops

skills that may be required in a global world; and
Establish national baseline data for literacy and numeracy.


an evaluation of the quality of support for children’s learning provided by
Develop improved early diagnostic methods & train teachers.
current learning resources in the Solomon Islands, and by current pre-
• Produce Solomon Islands vernacular language learning materials.
service and in-service teacher education.
• Deliver teacher in-service programmes to improve literacy teaching.

• Deliver teacher in-service programmes to improve standards of
Improving learning in schools will assist in better matching the outcomes of
numeracy.
education with the requirements of Solomon Islands society, and should lead
• Increase opportunities for students to learn other languages.
to individuals who are better equipped to participate in their society and in

the wider world. Well-rounded individuals with skills that complement their

interests and abilities are more likely to find employment and integrate well
12.8 Curriculum
into their society.


Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
The keys to improving learning in schools lie in the areas of curriculum and
assessment, literacy and numeracy, and the abilities of the teachers charged

with managing students’ learning.
The policy issue is whether the current school curriculum prepares Solomon

Islands young people adequately for life in the modern world. The desired
The curriculum and assessment systems should value equally the full range of
policy outcome is that the school curriculum prepares students to live
student abilities and should address the needs of society for a range of
fulfilling lives, is of high quality, promotes high level student achievement,
employment opportunities. The current curriculum and assessment system
and meets individual and national needs.
should provide more scope for students to demonstrate or practise their
The curriculum policy issues include
creative, artistic, physical and practical abilities. There is also a need to

acknowledge the importance of these skills and abilities in the wider
• the need for review and modernisation of the curriculum to
Solomon Islands society.
accommodate advances in knowledge and new developments such as

technology;
An effective curriculum will support the development of basic literacy and
• whether the current school curriculum is sufficiently comprehensive
numeracy skills which are fundamental to success in education, and underpin
(including the study of health, environmental awareness, indigenous
all learning (See previous section). Review of curricula should occur on a
34

regular and planned basis, and revision should be undertaken as a result of
• curriculum development in health education, environmental education,
evaluation of existing curricula and changes in society.
creative arts and crafts (including music and other indigenous arts and

crafts), agriculture, home economics, industrial arts, and technology
Government Policy Response
through an early request for assistance to ensure that progress in these
The National Curriculum Reform Programme initiated as part of the
areas is initiated or supported, and to meet the pressing need for more
previous Education Strategic Plan 2004-2006 will be continued.
relevant practical courses in secondary schools;
• a revised primary and secondary physical education and sports syllabus
In partnership with stakeholders, the MEHRD through the Curriculum
(or syllabuses);
Development Centre is establishing the philosophical and pedagogical
• sufficient and appropriate teaching and learning support resources to
foundation for a major overhaul of the objectives for basic education.
enable children to maximise their potential; and
Syllabus development is under way for all subjects to cover learning from
Years 1 to 10. In conjunction with this curriculum development, learning
• improved school broadcasting programmes, such as radio and television,
materials are being developed, in-service training for teachers for the revised
for ECE, primary and secondary schools
syllabus areas will be carried out, and revisions to pre-service training
• the development of Distance Flexible Learning materials and integration
curricula are in process. All curriculum documents are being revised to
with curricula for TVET and Tertiary Education and for non-formal
integrate and update course syllabi, and to establish a continuous learning
education and life-long learning initiatives
pathway from the preparatory year through to form 3. The objective is to

develop an integrated Year 1 to 10 curriculum framework. This framework is
Continuous curriculum improvement will be emphasised in the initial stages.
intended to promote the achievement of learning outcomes that better
Developments in specified areas of the curriculum will be continued. The
prepare young people for life in the Solomon Islands. Clear objectives are
preliminary policy focus will be on the development of quality learning
being developed for each course, which provide the basis for continuous,
resources to support the curriculum, particularly in the language area, and on
school-based assessment of learning.
improvement to teaching skills and competencies through a programme of
in-service training and professional development in targeted areas of the
The MEHRD will therefore continue its review of the primary and secondary
curriculum.
school curriculum in order to ensure appropriate linkages between the levels

of schooling, to further enhance transition between the levels, and to foster
Donor assistance will be sought for continuing the development, production
the introduction of new subjects. This process will lead to the production
and dissemination of learning resources, and to support a programme of
and delivery of:
teacher professional development.
• a broader curriculum which recognises existing strengths while relating

school learning outcomes and objectives to the educational, social and
The approach to curriculum development will focus on learning outcomes,
economic goals of the country;
and will be developed and owned by all teachers. This approach implies an
• an appropriate sequence of revised specific subject syllabi within an
outcomes-based approach to curriculum design, and a focus on assessing
overarching curriculum framework;
student achievement against specified criteria. All individual curriculum
• additional good quality resources to support improved achievement in
statements and syllabi will require some revision over a period of time.
literacy and numeracy;
Curriculum development will be accompanied by production of learning
• development of curriculum and resources to support the teaching and
resources and teacher professional development in order to implement any
learning of science and social studies;
new curriculum effectively. It will be a long-term project, that will need to
proceed in phases.
35



In the period 2007-2009, the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) will
Proposed Investments
focus on provision of in-service training to assist teachers in revised syllabus
The following investments are proposed:
areas, with a focus on the use of year 5 and year 6 learning materials, and year
7 to year 9 learning materials. In-service training to support teachers of year 1

to year 4 pupils will be revisited. Teachers’ guides and student texts will be
• Develop appropriate curricula and resources in health education,
produced for years 1 to 6, and for years 7 to 9.
environmental education, creative arts and crafts (including music

and other indigenous arts and crafts), agriculture, home economics,
In addition, syllabus development will be initiated for years 10 and 11. This
industrial arts, physical education and sport, and technology.
development will examine links and sequencing between year 10 and year 11,
• Develop & produce learning materials to support improved learning
and will examine how practical subjects leading to TVET courses can be
and performance in literacy, numeracy, science and social studies.
strengthened.
• Develop and deliver in-service teacher training programmes.

• Develop DFL-curriculum materials for pre-and in-service teacher
The MEHRD, School of Education and Education Officers will jointly
training programmes, TVET-courses and for NFE/adult, community
implement teacher in-service programmes. Teacher and student support and
education and life-long learning activities
reference materials for each subject will be produced or purchased and
• Develop improved school broadcasting programmes for ECE,
provided to each school within twelve months of commencing the revision
primary and secondary schools
of each subject.


12.9 Assessment
Development in general encompasses the interaction of cultures. It is the

responsibility of each nation to ensure that its values and customs are
Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes
protected and maintained. The MEHRD will therefore work towards
establishing values education in the curriculum. This will involve the

development of syllabi on cultural, social, moral and spiritual/religious
The policy issue is whether current approaches to assessment promote
values, as well as values that promote peace, democracy and national unity.
effective learning. The desired policy outcome is that the assessment system
In general these holistic values will include an appreciation of the
in the Solomon Islands promotes excellence in teaching and learning,
interconnectedness of people and their environment, as well as topics such as
provides information for teachers to allow them to ensure each child
population education, reproductive health education and HIV AIDS.
performs to the best of her or his ability, and does not discriminate against

any student.
The preservation of indigenous knowledge and skills is important for the

sustainable development of the Solomon Islands. This dimension will be
The assessment policy issues include striking an appropriate balance between
incorporated into the formal and non-formal curriculum where appropriate.
different purposes of assessment. Assessment can be used for different

purposes:
CDC will also facilitate the development and promotion of indigenous

education including traditional knowledge, customs, medicine, music and
• assessment for learning, in order to diagnose any learning difficulties, and
dance, and arts and craft. A TA adviser may be appointed to coordinate its
to indicate the direction of further learning that may be required, thus
activities.
improving learning and teaching;
36

• assessment to monitor and report on progress against learning
It is an issue whether the number of examinations is excessive. Many believe
objectives;
that there are too many selective examinations that dominate the work of the
• assessment for selection for further study or limited places in some
school and distort the efforts of curriculum writers and well-intentioned
learning institutions; and
teachers. Many do not accept that children should finish schooling if they are
• assessment for the purpose of providing a summarised report and
not successful in the Solomon Islands Secondary Entrance Examination. The
feedback on student learning that has been achieved.
examinations are also expensive to organise and administer.

The “backwash” effect of restricted assessment practices on the curriculum
An evaluation may need to be made of the relationship between Solomon
may be distorting effective learning. The focus of national examinations may
Islands curriculum objectives and assessment criteria and procedures, and of
be too narrow, since large areas of the curriculum are omitted. In form 3,
the quality of support for children’s learning provided by current system-
only two (English and Mathematics) of the ten subjects were examined in the
wide assessment methods.
past, and only a small proportion of the objectives are actually examined. The

range of subjects examined at form 3 needs to be extended. The emphasis
Assessment should continue to focus on support of learning objectives. The
on the more easily tested theoretical aspects, at the expense of practical skills,
assessment system in the Solomon Islands is being redesigned to cover the
produces a distortion that is widely recognised in the schools. As long as
whole range of student abilities, to support student learning, to assist in
examinations play such a crucial role, teachers will continue to narrow their
diagnosing student difficulties, and to inform teachers of the effectiveness of
focus and students will continue to restrict learning to the few skills that are
strategies they use.
examined.

The school assessment system provides for external examinations at the end
There are policy issues relating to setting of standards and awarding of
of standard 6, form 3 and form 5. These are used to select those who will
credentials. The definition of merit should be extended. The examination
progress to the next education level. The external examinations do not cover
prescriptions need to be revised to bring the examinations into closer
all subjects. They promote teacher and student attention on those subjects
alignment with the objectives of the curriculum in a number of subjects.
that are tested, which in turn leads to an undervaluing of those subjects that
Prescriptions need to set specific criteria and standards, or levels of
are not examined. The examination system does not evaluate or report pupil
competence, to be expected before the examinations are set, or school-based
progress in achieving desired learning outcomes, and does not promote the
assessments made. Then, students and parents, employers and institutions
adoption of teaching practices that support continued learning through the
will know what is to be examined, will more readily understand and accept
schooling period. The examination system emphasises provision of school
the results and have a clearer understanding of what grades and certificates
infrastructure and materials to enhance performance in those subjects that
mean.
are tested, with the result, for example, that many Community High Schools
How and when the Solomon Islands Secondary Entrance Examination
cannot adequately teach those subjects requiring special facilities such as
(SISEE) can be gradually phased out is an issue, so that all standard 6
science, home economics, industrial studies, creative arts or agriculture.
students can proceed to form 1. In those geographical areas where enough

form 1 places exist, it will be possible to dispense with the SISEE. Some
Where assessment is to be used to select students for further study, this
provinces have already reached this state. Other provinces, because of rapid
assessment should be used only for the purpose for which it was designed
population growth and insufficient places at form 1, may need to continue
and only if that purpose is essential, so that the smallest possible number of
with SISEE as a selection mechanism for entry to form 1 for a few years.
students is disadvantaged.
The breadth of the national form 3 examination should be extended to

37

include all subjects taught in forms 1-3. By examining only English and
• developing and applying assessment instruments across the early primary
mathematics, teachers and students have neglected the other subjects. The
years to assist with diagnosing learning difficulties and remediation
options need to be analysed by NESU, CDC and subject teachers to produce
strategies.
prescriptions to guide the examiners. The national form 3 regulations should

also be changed to allow for the use of school-based assessment in each of
New assessment instruments will be developed for use in all primary schools
the core subjects. The work of the students throughout the year is not
to assist with diagnosis of learning difficulties, associated with in-service
weighted, while a student who is unwell or upset on examination day is
training for teachers for follow-up remediation. These instruments would
disadvantaged. Moreover, many of the skills included in the curriculum can
include the enhancement of existing techniques used by teachers in the
only be assessed by teachers who observe students work throughout the year,
Solomon Islands, such as the development of a running record of a student’s
as in English, science and vocational subjects.
progress in reading.
The assessment system reinforces the perception that the education system is

a pathway to formal sector employment, and in practice promotes further
The proposal to phase out the Solomon Islands Secondary Entrance
disharmony within communities and the national society.
Examination at standard 6 level is important. The MEHRD plans to
commence phasing out the external SISEE at a pace and in regions where all
Up to date examination prescriptions, spelling out the content, skills and
pupils can continue from standard 6 to form 1. The SSEE will be phased out
standards to be examined and assessed, should be available to guide the form
by 2010.
3 examiners in each subject, and to inform teachers and students before the
examinations take place. NESU should work with CDC and subject teachers
The SISEE will be replaced with broader, school-based assessment
to prepare prescriptions in the areas that have not yet been updated, so that
instruments and procedures. The objective is to replace this screening and
the content, standards and weightings of each examination and school-based
selection examination with procedures that promote and monitor learning.
assessment requirement are known and understood.
When fully implemented, the proposed reform will provide an assessment of
pupil progress at standard 6 after seven years of basic education, while
Currently secondary school students in the Solomon Islands follow a national
allowing pupils to continue to the end of form 3.
curriculum at form 5 leading to the Solomon Islands School Certificate, and
follow a regional curriculum in form 6 leading to a regional Pacific
Teacher in-service training programmes in methods of assessment will be
qualification (the Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate). The issue is whether
implemented by NESU to assist teachers at primary and secondary schools
these different assessment systems promote a coherent, systematic and
to make sound formal assessments of their pupils. In-service training for all
integrated approach to learning.
primary teachers will be undertaken.

Planning for phasing out SISEE will allow MEHRD (through the National
Government Policy Response
Examination and Standards Unit (NESU)) to review assessment instruments,
document and update assessment prescriptions and procedures, and improve

communication with parents and schools.
The MEHRD will broaden the assessment system in the Solomon Islands to

ensure a wider range of students’ skills and abilities is assessed, by:
The MEHRD will broaden the scope of assessment at form 3 to include all
• phasing out the Solomon Islands Secondary Entrance Examination
subjects, using a combination of school-based and external examinations.
(SISEE) at standard 6, according to a timetable to be determined by the
School-based assessment will be introduced for those subjects not currently
MEHRD, but by 2010 at the latest;
examined externally. This approach will require the MEHRD to amend the
• producing an assessment handbook for teachers; and
national form 3 examination regulations. NESU will be responsible for this
38

change, in collaboration with CDC and subject panels.
than is possible under the examination system. This system would be less
With CDC, NESU will develop a list of required student competencies and
expensive than preparing new examinations each year.
related assessment prescriptions for all junior secondary subjects. These will
Consideration will also be given to streamlining and rationalising the
provide teaching guidelines and the framework for an in-service training
certification system used to assess student achievement in the final years of
programme to prepare teachers to commence continuous school-based
secondary schooling.
assessment of pupils.

These programmes will include such topics as: selecting the most appropriate
Proposed Investments
form of assessment for different objectives; planning an effective measuring

device; setting quality questions, at the appropriate level; understanding and
The following investments are proposed:
ensuring reliability of assessment; devising effective marking and scaling
• Develop a national assessment policy.
systems; and moderating assessments to conform to national standards.
• Develop an assessment handbook for teachers.
The system-wide assessment instruments (the Solomon Islands Standardised
• Develop a strategy to replace the Secondary Entrance Examination.
Tests of Achievement) will be further developed and extended, by

developing a system of objective measures and benchmarks at other levels in
12.10 Teacher Supply
addition to the standard 4 tests. In 2006, Solomon Islands Standardised Tests

of Achievement at standard 6 level are being undertaken. Results are
Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes
expected to be available in 2007. These tests will help teachers to realistically
assess students’ abilities, provide models of good assessment practice, and

lead to teaching to students’ strengths and weaknesses.
The policy issue is how the Solomon Islands can secure an adequate supply
of well trained and qualified teachers to meet the educational needs of a
In addition, collection of national baseline data to assist in establishing
rapidly expanding school population. It is also an issue whether current
benchmarks for performance by Solomon Islands students in literacy and
national teacher development plans will deliver the required number of
numeracy will be initiated. The MEHRD, through NESU, will consider
teachers of appropriate quality, and whether existing teachers have access to
undertaking national surveys of achievement in these core subjects in a
appropriate professional development. The desired policy outcome is that
restricted sample of schools, at standard 4 and standard 6 levels, and
education in the Solomon Islands is supported by an adequate supply of
repeating these every 4 years, using many of the same tasks. Pacific Islands
competent, trained, and well-qualified teachers at all levels, teaching in the
Language and Literacy (PILL) tests could be used to assess English literacy
Solomon Islands is perceived as an attractive profession, teachers are
and numeracy, but would need further development. Removing the external
motivated to stay and contribute to the education sector, all teaching
examination at standard 6 would mean there is no national measure of
positions are filled by teachers of quality, and advance planning for teacher
accountability until the end of form 3. Introducing national surveys of
supply is undertaken to ensure that teacher shortages do not occur.
achievement on a 10% student sample, to be applied every 4 years, would

provide some regular and consistent information about student performance
The teacher supply policy issues include more effective forecasting, planning
on benchmarked tasks. Measures of science and social studies could be
and monitoring of teacher supply in the Solomon Islands It is necessary to
added for the standard 6 survey.
verify whether there is any exodus of teachers from the profession, and, if so,
This mechanism would ensure that standards are being maintained in each
to identify which parts of the teaching profession are experiencing loss rates,
province, and in the nation, and in a wider range of curriculum objectives
and the reasons for any trends that may be emerging. Trend analyses of
39

teacher mobility and past and future teacher loss rates (including teacher
with respect to teacher supply needs. Interventions which the Government
retirements) are required. The development of a robust model is needed to
will consider include:
forecast future teacher supply needs for the Solomon Islands accurately.
• Field-based training to upgrade the skills of unqualified teachers in the

service;
Policy on appropriate sources of future teachers needs to be developed. A
• Appointing a teacher recruitment officer to attract young people into the
review of policy is required on teacher recruitment and retention, and teacher
teaching profession;
preparation in and beyond the Solomon Islands, including the policy on the
• A public relations exercise to promote the teaching profession;
annual intake to SICHE (or other providers such as USP). Recruitment of

expatriate teachers may need to be considered. Policies to improve the
A regional teacher recruitment programme that targets expatriate
quality of teaching are also needed, in order to improve and upgrade the
teachers from elsewhere in the Pacific;
skills of the existing teaching work force, particularly the estimated 1300
• Developing alternative school-based models of teacher training using a
unqualified teachers in the primary service. If there are to be basic changes in
mentor system;
the secondary curriculum, the data and analysis requirements must be
• Introducing more contestability into the teacher education “market”, and
extended to reflect these changes. This extended analysis would also be
considering and possibly allowing other providers to train teachers;
essential if there is to be more emphasis upon provision of qualified tutors
• Targeted (and bonded) scholarships for secondary teachers to study
for expanded vocational and technical education.
overseas, who then return to teach in the Solomon Islands;

• Support for teachers who enrol in USP programmes to upgrade their
The availability of qualified teachers is an essential pre-requisite for an
qualifications (distance education, summer schools, etc);
effective education system. Teacher salary levels affect recruitment and
• Approaches to donors for assistance with a specific proposal for a
retention, and teacher salaries in Government schools will influence
teacher support and/or teacher development programme;
compensation levels in non-Government institutions. Increasingly, there is
• Technical assistance to develop a teacher supply model and database to
an international market for qualified teachers in specialised areas and it is
forecast Solomon Islands teacher supply needs for the early childhood,
essential to monitor the dynamics of the supply and demand equation. A
primary and secondary education sectors over the medium term;
labour market response may be needed if monitoring discloses that there are
• Incentives to attract previous teachers back into the teaching profession;
teacher shortages occurring.
and


Government Policy Response
Initiation of a programme to upskill existing teachers.


During the period 2007-2009, the MEHRD will focus on identifying factors
The MEHRD sees teacher training as an important priority. Teacher training
related to the supply of and demand for teachers (with specialised skills) at
is needed both to train teachers to teach in schools and to train TVET
different levels of the system. Special emphasis will be placed on issues of
teachers.
remuneration and the implications of devolution of authority for staffing

decisions to institutions. By the end of this period, the MEHRD will have
The MEHRD will set up a team to identify the information required to
appropriate information to develop a coherent and financially sustainable
predict short and longer term teacher supply needs in the Solomon Islands,
strategy for balancing pupil: teacher ratios, conditions of service for teachers,
and to develop appropriate policies on teacher supply and quality. The
and support for non-salary operating inputs to maximise system efficiency.
MEHRD will also document the existing situation in the Solomon Islands
Initial estimates of the recurrent cost implications of teacher upgrading and
modest improvements in terms and conditions will be made.
40

Recruitment of overseas teachers would be considered only when there is an
2015. The review will also assess whether the skills and capacity of practising
evident shortage of teaching skills.
teachers are being adequately developed. Technical assistance will be sought

if necessary to support the proposed review.
During 2007-2009 the MEHRD will examine these issues within the
The MEHRD will continue to seek budget and development partner
framework of on-going labour market analyses, plans for expansion of
assistance to complete the training of those already enrolled in pre-service
vocational/technical training, trends in teachers’ wages, projections of the
teacher training programmes at SICHE, and those to be enrolled in the
education labour market, and analyses of the cost implications of teacher
future. The MEHRD will support the School of Education in obtaining
upgrading and salary increases. The MEHRD will develop a coherent,
national funding to deliver these courses.
information-based strategy to ensure a supply of adequately trained and
motivated teachers. This work will be undertaken in close collaboration with
The MEHRD will work with the School of Education at SICHE and its
other Government agencies such as the Ministry of Finance.
partner institution, the University of Waikato, to review and develop the

teacher education programmes. The objective is to replace the two-year
The entity charged with responsibility for planning, managing and
certificate for primary teachers with a revised three-year Diploma in
monitoring teacher training and development is the Teacher Training
Teaching, which would be the minimum entry point for the teaching service.
Development Office. This office coordinates teacher training and
In addition to other skills, diplomats will be expected to have skills in multi-
development programme implementation. It has overall responsibility for the
grade teaching, school-based assessment, and specialist teaching areas. This
development, implementation and monitoring of the National Teacher
approach will reduce the need for in-service programmes to up-grade
Development Plan. Training for multi-grade teaching in primary and
primary teachers to take up places in junior secondary schools. The MEHRD
secondary schools is a significant issue, especially for teachers in areas where
will seek financial support to assist the School of Education to complete the
student numbers are not large. This dimension will be included in the plan,
repair, refurbishment and re-equipping of its existing facilities to enable it to
and in the revised teacher education programmes offered by the School of
enrol approximately 360 – 390 new Diploma students annually.
Education at SICHE.


The following investments will be supported during 2007-2009:
The purpose of the National Teacher Development Plan is to document and

cost pre-service and in-service teacher training and development. An
• analysis of school population projections and trends over a ten-year time
important objective of the plan is to strengthen in-service training capacity
frame;
for school teachers and school administrators. The MEHRD will review the
• study of patterns in teacher retention, mobility, and loss rates;
National Teacher Training and Development Plan, and will determine its
• time series analysis of real (inflation-corrected) teacher wage patterns;
status. The review will examine whether the plan exists in formal written
• data base on numbers and location of teachers in the community pool;
form, or whether it is a more dynamic informal arrangement. An assessment

will be made of whether the plan now adequately reflects reforms to the
tracer studies of new teacher trainees;
School of Education at SICHE, and if it includes appropriate measures to
• analysis of trends in advertisements for teacher vacancies;
fund pre-service teacher education. It will assess whether the procedures for
• analysis of time series data on intakes at SICHE;
awarding teacher-training scholarships have been included within the scope
• study of changes in the attitudes of a sample of secondary students
of the plan. The over-riding objective is to review whether an appropriate
regarding the teaching profession; and
framework is in place to field sufficient qualified teachers to support
• identification of options and incentives to introduce more
universal attendance at primary school and at junior secondary school by
“contestability” into the teacher education market.
41

Outputs and outcomes anticipated during the preliminary activities (2007-

2009) include the following:
12.11 Teacher Quality

• a comprehensive “model” of teacher supply and demand, under a

range of assumptions;
Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes
• analysis of the long-term cost implications of teacher upgrading and

improvements in remuneration, in the context of possible savings
The policy issue is how to ensure that teachers in the Solomon Islands meet
related to improved teacher pupil ratios;
appropriate standards of quality. The anticipated policy outcome is that all
• a progress report on the impact of current initiatives to strengthen
teachers in the Solomon Islands are well qualified, trained, committed and
SICHE, and an assessment of the increased numbers of pre-service
competent, and are able to motivate and encourage all students to learn.
trainees that will be enrolled over the period 2007 to 2015; and
Teaching will be perceived as an attractive profession and held in high regard
• identification and costing of options to increase alternative modes of
by the community, and all teaching positions will be filled by teachers of
teacher training provision.
quality.


Proposed Investments
The key education policy issues relate to ways of raising the standard of
teaching, improvements to the quality of pre-service and in-service teacher

education, and whether formal registration of teachers is required in order to
8.1 The following investments are proposed:
maintain standards of quality and ensure public confidence in the profession.



• Finalise the National Teacher Training and Development Policy
Policy on teacher education should be supported by a regime that maintains a

core of trained specialists in teacher education at SICHE, and should ensure
Review the National Teacher Training and Development Plan.
that teacher education specialists are accessible to the various education
• Develop teacher supply & demand projection model(s).
systems for assistance with in-service delivery, curriculum review and
• Develop an improved teacher data base.
development, and examinations expertise.
• Support field-based training approaches to upgrade skills of

unqualified primary teachers.
Teacher education is the heart of human resource development in an
• Fund abbreviated teacher training courses for university degree
education system, since the quality of teaching is the single most important
graduates;
factor that relates to the quality of student achievement. Effective learning in
• Recruit overseas teachers to teach in the Solomon Islands.
schools depends upon effective teaching. Improving the quality of teaching is
• Undertake SICHE intake analysis.
therefore a significant factor in raising the level of student achievement.
• Undertake study of teacher recruitment and retention.


The effective preparation and supply of teachers are fundamental aspects of
Investigate "contestability" strategies and provide funding for
a well–performing education system. Government has an important role in
alternative approaches to teacher education and teacher supply.
creating the environment in which teachers can be well prepared for their

role. While not all teachers need necessarily be trained in the state institution,
in a country like the Solomon Islands the Government has a particular
responsibility to ensure that its one teachers’ training college is well
42

supported and resourced, is itself staffed by well qualified teachers or
development group will be formed involving teachers from all education
lecturers, has a sound system of quality assurance in place, and is able to
systems in the Solomon Islands along with MEHRD officers, to assist in
deliver quality programmes.
producing the proposed in-service component of the teacher professional

development plan.
A key priority will be developing a strategy to upgrade the skills of the

estimated 1300 unqualified teachers in the primary school sector, and
The establishment of a Teacher Education Advisory Committee will be
providing professional development programmes (in-service training) for the
considered. Among the functions of this Advisory Committee are the need
primary-trained teachers who now teach at junior secondary levels in
to:
Community High Schools.


• advise the Permanent Secretary and the Minister on strategies for
The establishment of an Advisory Committee on Teacher Education
improving teacher education in the Solomon Islands;
(concerned with advising on pre-service and in-service teacher education)
• coordinate and advise on all pre-service and in-service teacher education
may be desirable to ensure that scarce resources are used most efficiently for
offerings;
the benefit of all teachers, irrespective of the system in which they teach. The
• develop a coordinated plan for pre-service and in-service education in the
Advisory Committee would be tasked with ensuring that the present
Solomon Islands, which recognises serving teachers’ need for a
impediments to all teachers’ access to professional development are
qualification;
eliminated. The committee would also be tasked with ensuring that the in-

service offerings associated with the adoption of new curriculum and
encourage partnership between Government and non-Government
assessment systems are planned, integrated and delivered for optimal teacher
providers for integrated planning; and
development.
• ensure that in-service training forms an integral part of the overall

revision of curriculum and assessment in schools.
Creating a more “level playing field” in the teaching labour force by moves to

decentralise functions such as appointment of staff, and fostering an
Measures to improve the quality of teacher education that will be considered
environment in which non-Government systems compete for teaching staff
by MEHRD include teacher exchanges with neighbouring regional countries
on an equal basis with Government schools, would have the effect of
as a way of raising skills, investment in research and development for
improving the quality of teaching overall in Solomon Islands schools.
teachers, strengthening of teacher appraisal systems, and development of a

training programme for untrained teachers. The MEHRD recognizes that
Government Policy Response
there is a need to strengthen in-service programmes, and to cater for
leadership and management needs of school leaders.
In pursuit of a goal of improving the quality of teaching, the MEHRD will

undertake reforms to improve the teacher education system. Policies will be
The policy on selection of trainees to enter pre-service training is another
developed to improve the overall quality of teacher education. A teacher
issue that impacts upon quality. The selection of trainees for teaching must
development plan will be prepared (encompassing both pre-service and in-
be based on quality criteria.
service training) that sets out initiatives for improving the quality of teaching

at all levels of the education system.
Another more immediate initiative, that will run in parallel with the work of

the proposed Advisory Committee for Teacher Education, is to seek formal
Policy on how the SICHE/SOE could help improve the in-service training
links (“twinning”) through a Memorandum of Agreement with an already
of teachers as well as pre-service training will be developed. An in-service
accredited overseas provider of quality teacher education. This process has
43

already been initiated by SICHE/SOE through contact with the University
• the Advanced Standing programme is continued to target the training of
of Waikato, with a view to improving the quality of teaching programmes at
teachers in areas of skills shortage for senior secondary levels; and
SICHE/SOE. This conjoint arrangement should enable SICHE/SOE to
• teacher education programmes for post-secondary/tertiary teachers and
improve its own standards by giving it access to other established high
teachers of vocational and technical programmes are provided.
quality teacher education programmes, support from high quality staff at the

“twinned” institution, and a raising of its standards through improvement of
The MEHRD has a Teacher Service Handbook that prescribes formal
its own programmes and procedures. This arrangement could be extended to
registration and contracting of all teachers (in both Government and Non-
Vanga Teachers College & other providers (if a suitable partner could be
Government systems) in order to increase efficient resource management,
found).
maintain standards of quality and to ensure public confidence in the

profession. Registration and contracting of teachers would provide
Incentives will be developed to improve the quality of teaching by
protection for students and a means of establishing quality by ensuring that
encouraging existing teachers to improve their existing qualifications by
only qualified teachers who were suitable for teaching were appointed to
undertaking degree studies. It may also be desirable to explore links and co-
permanent teaching positions. An accurate list (register) of all teachers in
operation with the University of the South Pacific (USP) or (Open)
both Government and Non-Government systems will be developed initially,
University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), which has developed many
with a record of each teacher’s name, qualifications, teaching experience,
modules for teacher training and also wants to open a centre in the Solomon
current place of employment, and other relevant information.
Islands . Studies to upgrade existing teacher qualifications could be

undertaken either through the USP or UPNG and in combination with DFL-
One policy issue that has a significant impact upon the quality of teaching is
modes through Internet and e-mail facilities as offered by the provincial
the policy on the remuneration of teachers. The difficulty in recruiting and
Distance Learning Centres or through SICHE/SOE if arrangements to offer
retaining staff suggests that a labour market response may also need to be a
a teaching degree programme at that institution can be finalised.
factor in the recipe for improving quality. The recent increase in teacher

remuneration will need to be monitored to determine if it has resulted in
SICHE/SOE will be supported, through donor assistance and by the
improvements in quality. While financial incentives for teachers to improve
MEHRD, to ensure that:
their qualifications should be considered, this policy response is not the only
• pre-service curricula and teaching and learning processes anticipate and
answer to improving teacher quality. The MEHRD may wish to consider
reflect proposed changes in school curriculum and assessment;
whether a policy to increase teacher-pupil ratios is warranted in order to
• the SICHE is accredited by an appropriate overseas accreditation agency,
reduce the overall number of teachers and free up funds that could then be
in order to improve the quality of its teacher education programmes;
targeted at providing incentives to teachers to raise their qualification
• the SICHE curriculum is strengthened in areas of diagnosis and
standards and performance.
remediation of children’s learning difficulties and working with children

with special needs;
Some decentralisation of functions by the MEHRD and provincial
• the SICHE curriculum is further strengthened in areas of language and
authorities will be considered in order to allow schools more autonomy in
literacy learning (bi-lingual literacy);
the appointment of staff. Quality would be improved by moving towards
• the programme for early childhood education teachers can increase its
more school self-management and creating a more “level playing field” in the
enrolments;
teaching labour force, by freeing up access to teachers outside the
Government system to apply directly to the Solomon Islands Government
44

schools for appointment, and by encouraging moves that would allow non-
• Establish a "twinning" arrangement between SICHE/SOE and an
Government providers to compete for teaching staff on an equitable basis.
accredited overseas provider for delivery of teacher education degree

programmes.
A review of the teacher appraisal system will be conducted, with a view to
• Strengthen in-service programmes.
developing more positive incentives for teachers to improve the quality of
• Provide a programme to support and upskill the school inspectorate.
their performance.


Develop improved facilities at SICHE/SOE.
The school inspectorate programmes will be supported as a means of
• Introduce access to degree and/or diploma programmes for
evaluating teacher effectiveness and improving teacher quality. A programme
existing teachers.
of upskilling for school inspectors will be provided as a matter of priority. In

addition, the capacity of the Teaching Service Division of the MEHRD will
12.12 Tertiary Education
be strengthened in order to complete the elimination of “ghost” teachers and

to assist in upgrading the untrained teachers throughout the country.
Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes


The MEHRD will complete the reconciliation of the teaching establishment
The policy issue is how best to support delivery of quality education and
and payroll to ensure that it pays only teachers actually in schools. It is
skills training in the post-secondary (tertiary) education sector. Policy
anticipated that this will reduce the salary bill by as much as 15 percent.
outcomes include a coordinated national system of post-secondary education
In partnership with Education Authorities, Teaching Service Commission
and training with adequate provision to meet the needs of the Solomon
and SINTA, the MEHRD will implement the Teachers Service Handbook
Islands society and economy. The system should be characterised by equity,
published in 2006. This handbook includes policy on the conditions of
quality, relevance and efficiency. Qualifications would be internationally
employment for teachers, including procedures for recruitment, deployment,
accredited and recognised, and limited resources would not be dissipated
salary scales, promotion, training, performance review, and code of conduct.
through unnecessary duplication of services. An anticipated policy outcome
The Teaching Service establishment and procedures for deploying teachers
is an effective tertiary education policy for the Solomon Islands, including a
will be implemented to achieve equitable distribution of trained teachers in
strategic plan for the development of post-secondary (tertiary) education.
primary and junior secondary schools, based on actual pupil enrolments.
This broader policy and associated strategic plan would include policy on
technical and vocational education and training (discussed in more detail in
Implementation of these activities will be monitored by the enhanced
the next section). A further policy outcome would be the development of
Inspectorate service.
"demand-driven" funding models.


Proposed New Investments
A review of current policy is required, including policy on the award of
scholarships. It appears that a mix of policy approaches will be required in

future. While expanding and strengthening SICHE is a logical first step
The following investments are proposed:
towards the development of a robust tertiary education sector, the reality of

the geography of the Solomon Islands suggests that strengthening training
• Strengthen SICHE/SOE.
through rural training centres and other training organisations will need to be
a focus of initiatives, at least in the short and medium term. The role and
contribution of the University of the South Pacific and of Papua New
45

Guinea will also need to be considered. The longer–term objective is the
Training Plan being undertaken in 2006 by the World Bank, NZAID,
creation of a “market” environment in which public finance will follow
AUSAID, EU and other stakeholders.) Associated with the development of
individual enrolments (through scholarships, vouchers or subsidies) in
appropriate tertiary education policy will be the development of a strategic
targeted skills areas.
plan for post-secondary education and training in the Solomon Islands (a

National Skills Training Plan), as part of the MEHRD broader planning for
The education system should meet the following criteria:
education in the Solomon Islands. The development of the proposed

national tertiary education policy will be wide-ranging and comprehensive,
tertiary education graduates would possess a range of generic skills,
including examination of existing policy on scholarships and awards,
including skills required in the work force;
development of policy on institutional provision of tertiary education
the quality of tertiary education and training delivered in Government
(including strengthening of the Solomon Islands College of Higher
and non-Government institutions will be of a high standard, so that the
Education and further consideration of the development of a Solomon
needs of the Solomon Islands economy can be met,
Islands campus of the University of the South Pacific) and policy on skills
sufficient personnel will be trained in a range of programmes in order to
development and training (incorporating appropriate policies for technical
meet the diverse needs of the Solomon Islands economy;
and vocational education and training). The next section deals with TVET
tertiary education opportunities, including in-country training and
issues in more detail. A planned approach to the development of formal
provision of scholarships for overseas study, will be designed to be cost
post-secondary education should lead to a more efficient sector.
effective and efficient, and to meet national human resource

development priorities;
A study is being undertaken in 2006 to assist the Government to develop a
the quantum of funding devoted to tertiary education and training would
National Skills Training Plan (NSTP). This study, supported by the World
be appropriate, but would reflect the Government’s emphasis on
Bank and by NZAID, will provide advice which will facilitate the
universal basic education as the first priority for limited education
construction of an implementable NTSP by identifying national objectives,
expenditure;
key issues, strategic options and opportunities, implementation options, and
opportunities and public support would be in place to encourage
resource implications and requirements. This proposed plan is intended to
individuals to upgrade their professional and vocational skill as an on-
provide a basis for the Government to plan for its future investment in the
going activity in order to maintain international competitiveness;
skills training and education of the nation’s work force. The intention is that
increased awareness of the value of tertiary education and training in
this plan will be linked to the future skilled manpower needs (both formal
creating and sustaining a livelihood and in contributing to society
and informal) of the economy. The work on developing the NSTP will
generally would be evident in Solomon Islands communities.
support the development of an appropriate national tertiary education policy.


The study has undertaken a survey of private sector firms, and government
Government Policy Response
institutions and agencies at national and provincial levels, as well as tertiary

education providers, to ascertain the immediate and medium term demand
The MEHRD wishes to reform and co-ordinate the provision of post-
for training, to assess the capacity of employers to contribute towards the
secondary education and training in the Solomon Islands. A review of tertiary
cost of training, and to assess the capacity of tertiary education providers to
education will be undertaken in order to develop an effective national tertiary
deliver the training of the type and to the levels required. An anticipated
education policy. (The necessity for a further review of tertiary education
outcome of this skills survey will be the identification of priority sectors on
will be reassessed following receipt of the study on the National Skills
46

which training should be focused, and proposals for the development of
that while expensive pre-service and in-service programmes benefit the
mechanisms for employer and employee contributions to costs.
recipient, there is often little benefit to the nation.
The proposed National Skills Training Plan will be developed in tandem with
Overall responsibility for national human resource planning, implementation
the development of an effective tertiary education policy, following receipt of
and monitoring needs to be better coordinated. Relevant activities are carried
the final report of the study in the beginning of 2007. The plan will reflect a
out by the Ministry of Finance, National Reform and Planning, by the
macro-economic and social sector analysis based on available data on
Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, and by the
economic and education/training trends. It will also provide an analysis of
Labour Division and the National Trade Training and Testing Unit of the
how past secondary and post-secondary graduates have contributed to the
MEHRD of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Tourism. The strategies
economy. It is anticipated that this plan will be a major contributor to the
proposed in this Framework are designed to improve national human
development of an effective national tertiary education policy which will
resource planning, and will be implemented by whichever Ministry has
outline and advise on the economic development trends over the medium
appropriate responsibility.
and long term and the likely demand for and supply of skilled/educated
The capacity of the National Training Unit (NTU), currently located within
personnel. Particular attention in policy development will be paid to the
the MEHRD, will be enhanced to support the administration of an effective
needs of the informal economy and to the education/skills base needed to
tertiary education policy, including implementation of the proposed national
sustain micro enterprises and the social economy in rural areas where 80% of
skills training plan. The NTU will also be charged with monitoring and
Solomon Islanders live.
reporting on the results of public expenditure on training. These changes will

provide the institutional framework for focused attention to planning,
Once adopted by the Cabinet, the national tertiary education policy and the
implementing and monitoring national policy and the National Skills
associated strategic plan for delivery of post-secondary tertiary education and
Training Plan.
training (the National Skills Training Plan) should be used by all Ministries
and non-Government organisations to guide their strategic investment in
The MEHRD will review and propose alterations to the manner in which
education and skills training over the Framework period.
national and donor scholarships should be awarded and managed,

particularly how specific allocations of scholarships will be made to meet the
The MEHRD recognises that national and regional development requires
priority needs of provincial governments and employers. In respect of these
trained people. It also recognises that despite years of sponsored training
tertiary training awards, the National Training Committee should use the
programmes at national and international post secondary and tertiary
proposed Plan (if available) to guide its award decisions for 2007 onwards.
institutions, the gap between the expertise needed and that available has not
The Government needs to ensure that these allocations of awards are not
been reduced. Further, those who have been trained at public expense have,
subject to political interference as has occurred in the past, since the current
in the main, returned to urban-based employment, with the result that the
costs of awards (for the 845 overseas tertiary students in 2006) are
rural areas in the Solomon Islands continue to have insufficient numbers of
unsustainable. Over the next few years a large number of graduates will find
skilled and competent people.
it difficult to find employment in the current economic environment.


Government and donor scholarship programmes and support to SICHE
It will be necessary to strengthen the administration of tertiary education and
account for a disproportionate share (more than 20%) of the national budget
training in the MEHRD. It may be necessary to establish a senior position
estimate for education and training. National and community leaders raise
within MEHRD to oversee the development of tertiary education in the
concerns at the lack of transparency in the award of scholarships and suggest
Solomon Islands in order to provide a focus for lifting standards and driving
the tertiary education reforms that are required.
47


vocational education policies, to target its programmes to meet the specific
The Solomon Islands Government has invited the University of the South
needs of government, the private sector and rural communities.
Pacific to carry out a joint feasibility study to establish a USP campus in the
The policy strategies required include the following:
Solomon Islands. The feasibility report needs to be examined and given

practical follow up by a committee from USP/MEHRD/SICHE in order to

coordinate the development of the proposed campus. In this context, the
If necessary, undertake a review (based on a suitable methodology
increased use of technology to access learning and recognised qualifications
including USP, SICHE and external consultants) of post-secondary
could be a cost effective way to achieve higher education outcomes.
education in the Solomon Islands, to examine the nation’s longer-term

needs for infrastructure and systems for post-secondary education and
The outcomes of these initiatives on skills training will be consolidated in the
training;
national tertiary education policy and the associated strategic plan for delivery
• Development of an effective national tertiary education policy and an
of post-secondary tertiary education and training (the National Skills Training
associated strategic plan for delivery of post-secondary tertiary education
Plan). The MEHRD will be responsible for developing and implementing the
and training (the National Skills Training Plan);
national tertiary education policy. It is anticipated that the strategic plan
• Strengthening of existing post-secondary tertiary education institutions
(derived from the national policy) will provide the sectoral and geographic
(e.g. by supporting SICHE through articulation agreements with
priorities for scholarships and other training, as well projections of training
international institutions, by enhancing the Solomon Islands Centre for
needs. The strategic plan will be used as the basis for investment and
the University of the South Pacific through further consideration of the
development activities in technical and vocational education, and for the
establishment of a full campus in the Solomon Islands, and by
future development of SICHE.
maximising the use of technology to facilitate on-line and distance
education);
The Solomon Islands College of Higher Education is the only national

tertiary education institution in the Solomon Islands, and is a significant
Establishment and maintenance of a register of providers of post-
provider of tertiary education and technical and vocational training. It has a
secondary education;
central role to play in developing the national human resource base.
• Examination of how a “demand driven and labour market oriented”
system of funding tertiary education and training based on a funding
Government grants to SICHE account for approximately 10% of the
subsidy provided for each verified student enrolment could improve the
MEHRD annual budget estimates, to which must be added student
efficiency of the existing system;
allowances and other payments. Government has, however, had difficulty in
• Development of an appropriate environment for delivery of high quality
making these payments in full over recent years. NZAID provided support
tertiary education and training, including an equivalent full-time student
of SBD13 million in 2006 for SOE of SICHE. The Council will develop and
(EFTS) system and an appropriate education management information
approve a SICHE Development Plan as the basis for national, donor and
system for recording consumption of post-secondary education.
private sector investment. This strategic plan will develop the college and

move it forward as a service provider to both the private and public sectors.
Proposed Investments
This strategic plan is intended to deliver the organisational and structural

changes required to reduce costs and increase revenue.
The following investments are proposed
The College will draw on the proposed national tertiary education policy and


the associated strategic plan for delivery of post-secondary tertiary education
• Support for undertaking a comprehensive review of tertiary
and training (the national skills training plan), as well as the technical and
education and training provision in the Solomon Islands to examine
48

longer-term needs for infrastructure and systems for post-secondary
graduates from the formal education system would possess a range of
provision (if a review is necessary, following the receipt of the 2007
generic skills required in the work force;
report from the World Bank/NZAID study).
the quality of skills training delivered will be of a high standard, and the
• Support for the development of an effective national tertiary
skills developed and credentials delivered would meet regional and
education policy and for the associated development and
international standards, so that the needs of the Solomon Islands
implementation of a strategic plan for delivery of post-secondary
economy can be met,
tertiary education and training (the National Skills Training Plan).
the diversity of skills training offered will extend across the skill needs of
• Design and support regular national skills surveys to monitor the
the entire Solomon Islands economy;
skills needs of the Solomon Islands economy.
the relevance of skill training investments would be reflected in increased
• Appoint an officer in the MEHRD to a senior position to oversee
employment;
Solomon Islands tertiary education development.
the quantity of skilled workers trained will be sufficient to meet the needs
• Establish and maintain a register of tertiary education providers.
of the Solomon Islands work force;



opportunities and public support would be in place to encourage
Strengthen rural training centres.

individuals to upgrade their vocational and professional skill as an on-
Develop and implement a SICHE Development Plan.
going activity in order to maintain international competitiveness;
• Develop & pilot "demand-driven, labour market oriented" funding
student competencies would increase (using criterion-based standards)
models.
and the linkage to teacher skill improvements would be demonstrated;
• Develop an equivalent full-time student (EFTS) system to record
and
consumption of tertiary education
increased awareness of the value of technical and vocational education

and training in creating and sustaining a livelihood and in contributing to
12.13 Technical and Vocational Education and
society generally would be evident in Solomon Islands communities.
Training

The education policy issues include:


The policy issue is how to strengthen the delivery of technical and vocational
education and training (TVET) to improve the skills base of the country’s
• how to ensure that the formal schooling system develops the skills
work force and to provide alternative pathways for young people. Delivery of
required in the local and national work place, including work
TVET in the Solomon Islands is weak. There is a need to integrate TVET
readiness, initiative and enterprise skills;
more firmly into the formal education system rather than leaving it as a sole
• how to develop a flexible system to develop and deliver skills
responsibility of the “informal” sector (the rural and vocational training
training, in ways that are responsive to changes in the national and
centres). The desired policy outcome is the development of skills and
global environment, with provision to redirect focus where necessary;
competencies required for economic and social development in the Solomon
• how to assist students and adults to develop a range of skills and
Islands, with competent educators delivering high quality, relevant, and cost-
aptitudes, and to provide equal opportunity and support in
effective services.
alternative pathways;

• how to serve the needs of all Solomon Islanders, both those who live
The education system should meet the following criteria:
and work in the country, still mainly in the rural areas and those who

will live overseas;
49

• how to improve TVET instructor training and staff development;
do not gain a place at a secondary school (“push-outs”), or for those who are
• how to provide professional development to upgrade the skills of
not able to continue their education (“dropouts”), or for school leavers.
MEHRD staff;
Despite their importance, these institutions, with the exception of SICHE
• how to strengthen curriculum development activity in the TVET
and government agencies, have received limited financial support in the past
sector so that a focus is on competency-based learning and skills
from the Government. The national Government does now make a
capability development;
significant contribution (by grants per individual student) to costs of rural
• how to develop credible quality assurance systems and procedures to
training centres. The controlling authorities of RTCs have developed and
monitor and improve skills development programmes and the
delivered structured and non-formal programmes to meet perceived local
performance of providers;
needs, often without comprehensive analysis of local economic and
• how to improve the management capability of controlling authorities
commercial needs. It is acknowledged that a number of these programmes
and skill centre management boards and skill centre managers; and
duplicate or partially duplicate both those programmes offered by other
• how to improve co-ordination among providers, while maintaining
Centres, and the programmes offered by SICHE.
freedom of choice with the features of market efficiency.
In recognition of the need to achieve some coordination and enhance

national capacity for skills training, the controlling authorities have
Government Policy Response
established the Solomon Islands Association of Rural Training Centres

(SIARTC), with more than 40 affiliated members. The EU is supporting
Existing policy is set out in Education for Living: Approved Policy on Technical,
RTCs and SIARTC to build the physical and human capacity of these
Vocational, Education and Training (March 2005). The MEHRD, with support
centres.
from the European Union, has played a central role in formulating and
Two studies on TVET have been undertaken in 2006 in order to assist in the
launching Education for Living. This document sets out a Solomon Islands
development of appropriate policy responses. These studies will include a
approved policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training. This
comprehensive review of international experience in technical and vocational
Plan was developed in partnership with stakeholders, especially the Solomon
education to inform the development of appropriate policy in the Solomon
Islands Association of Rural Training Centres (SIARTC), and the private
Islands.
sector.
.
The Government of the Solomon Islands sees the appropriate delivery of
The first study is the comprehensive survey of public and private employers
technical and vocational education and training as one of its highest
undertaken as part of the World Bank/NZAID study to support a National
priorities. The MEHRD recognises the urgent need to train the skilled and
Skills Training Plan. The purpose of this survey was to determine and analyse
competent people on which economic recovery and development will be
national training needs. The purpose of the training needs analysis was to
based.
provide data that might inform the MEHRD strategic response to match
more effectively the output of the education system with the needs of the
Rural Training Centres (RTC), community and non-government
labour force. The findings of this study will be analysed, and a National Skills
organisations and groups, SICHE and other organizations such as Don
Training Plan developed. (The previous section on Tertiary Education also
Bosco and government agencies deliver technical and vocational education.
provided detail about this study).
Many of these institutions are part of the “non-formal” sector. They provide
the main opportunity to develop skills and competencies needed for
economic activity in rural-based or formal sector businesses for those who
50

The second study is the 2006 scoping and design study2 for the integration of
During the planning period, investments will focus on improving the match
TVET into the formal and non-formal system of the Solomon Islands
between the education system and the needs of the economy by making the
education system, undertaken by a team of two international and three local
system more flexible and responsive to market “signals.” The concept of
consultants. The specific objective of this study was “to prepare an overall
learning will be expanded to include activities that occur outside formal
project design and costings for a three-year programme with a detailed first
school settings, such as community development training and other non-
year work programme for the introduction and integration of the TVET
formal short courses, and will encompass lifelong learning and greater use of
policy.” This specific objective was set within the overall objective “to
distance education and ICT. The Distance Learning Centre Project, which is
enhance practical and vocational skills of students emerging from the formal
designing opportunities for accessing a more diverse range of courses,
and non-formal education system in Solomon Islands.” The findings of this
provides a useful mechanism to assist in developing a more flexible system.
study will also be considered and analysed in the development of technical

and vocational education policy and the associated National Skills Training
More work will be needed to define and ensure quality standards in a flexible
Plan.
and “market-driven” environment. Qualifications need to be quality assured,

either through links with accredited overseas organisations or quality
The programme design outlined in this second study provides a sensible
assurance bodies, or (at a later stage) through the development of a Solomon
roadmap as a way forward. It focuses on four key result areas:
Islands qualifications framework.


• skill training centres provide a range of qualitative and relevant
As a first step, the MEHRD will assist in training providers to document the
programmes;
competencies required of teachers and instructors, and in publishing an
• quality and relevance of instructor training is strengthened;
Interim Register of Accredited Technical and Vocational Training Providers.
• the capacity of planning and implementing authorities is
The MEHRD intends to coordinate an inventory of all technical and
strengthened; and
vocational courses offered, and will consider how ways of accrediting these

as nationally approved programmes can be developed. Concurrently the
the development of relevant curricula for education in practical
MEHRD will liaise with providers and trade testing authorities to devise
subjects in the formal school system is supported.
protocols and procedures for certifying the qualifications of graduates to

assure quality outcomes by all providers, regardless of the method or courses
The MEHRD proposes that a mix of policy responses will be adopted to
delivered to develop these competencies.
improve TVET. The findings of the two studies mentioned above will be

incorporated into the mix of policies finally adopted. Some further
A quality assurance system based on the competencies achieved by the
international comparisons with other Pacific countries may also be required.
learner (rather than the course offered) will be required. It would be desirable
As a basis for planning and monitoring, systematic and regular collections
to seek external advice from a credible international quality assurance agency
and analyses of data on the training needs of the economy will also be
in establishing this system. It would also provide a credible guarantee of
required in future.
quality if key Solomon Islands providers of TVET sought linkages with

accredited overseas providers of similar technical and vocational education
and training, or sought independent accreditation from an international

quality assurance agency.
2 Thomas, Harold & Bryam, Martin & Galo, Cherry & Maneipuri, Joash & Sito, Dalcy
A policy will be developed to provide public support to those of secondary
Scoping and Project Design for the Integration of TVET into the Formal and Non-
Formal Education System of the Solomon Islands
, April 2006.
school age who select technical and vocational training options outside
51

schools. This policy might involve a voucher for vocational, technical or life
a coherent move away from funding inputs to funding outputs. This
skills training delivered by Government and non-Government providers, or
approach will be an essential reform if the MEHRD wishes to have the
alternatively a subsidy arrangement of some sort. This response is intended
flexibility and capacity to redirect resources, in response to market signals.
to address access and equity concerns. The review of the secondary school
The implications of such a proposed change, in terms of organisation,
curriculum (referred to in greater detail in the section on Curriculum) would
staffing, finance and culture are immense, and the MEHRD recognises that a
expand opportunities for secondary students to access technical and
transition will undoubtedly take many years to fully design and implement.
vocational training. A complementary policy will target the skill development

needs of the adult population.
The feasibility of providing short courses will be considered to meet the mix

of skill needs required in the workforce (including the public sector).
The MEHRD proposes that SICHE be assisted by an in-depth audit and
Examples include competency-based courses, generic management courses,
benchmarking of its technical and vocational courses. This audit should be
and community outreach courses. The delivery of short-term courses is a
undertaken by external experts. The purpose of this proposal is to explore
flexible response in the context of the diverse sectoral needs in the Solomon
possible avenues where the current programmes offered by SICHE can be
Islands. Through an appropriate mix of delivery modes, these courses can
upgraded. Depending on the outcomes of this audit, it may be appropriate to
be more effective than formal courses provided in an institution. Short
undertake a feasibility study for the establishment of a national polytechnic
courses can also cater for the variation in skill needs in the economy, and the
or technical and vocational education institution.
course content can be tailored more flexibly to target particular needs. Short

courses should provide a useful function in bridging the gap between the skill
Additional support will be provided in order to upgrade instructor training.
needs of the economy and the skills delivered by current formal training.
The initial focus will be on strengthening Vanga Teachers’ College.

Opportunities (possibly through scholarships) will be offered to existing
There is a need for initiatives and pilot schemes that foster an improved
instructors to raise their standard of teaching through specialised targeted
linkage between employers and education and training providers. Skills
training courses at Vanga Teachers’ College. It may be necessary to help
training needs to be driven by the needs of industry. Employers need to have
SICHE to develop suitable training programmes that aim to train instructors
greater input into the mix of skills required of young people emerging from
that have higher education levels, so that a better standard of technical
schools and education institutions. For this to occur, opportunities for on-
training can be delivered.
job training in the workplace need to be expanded, pilot skill development

projects that are anchored in the workplace should be set up, and
The MEHRD proposes developing the existing tertiary education system
consultation with the private sector must be undertaken.
over time. The Government and non-Government sectors will need to work

together. Most of the rural training centres are run by the Churches, and their
These initiatives, and the studies under way or completed in 2007, will be
input will be essential. A system of financing needs to be devised that will
used to develop technical and vocational education policy and the associated
give support to TVET as part of a “level playing field”. A system will be
National Skills Training Plan (NTSP). This initiative is described in more
devised so that public finance will follow individual enrolments (through
detail in the previous section.
scholarships, vouchers or subsidies) in targeted skills areas. The system will

need to include non-academic courses, and will be designed to maximise
Outputs and outcomes anticipated include the following:
freedom of choice and encourage competition. This proposed system would

also provide greater flexibility in skills targeting and annual levels of
financing. This policy response would address the need for efficiency and for
52

• a system for the on-going monitoring and projection of skill needs in the
12.14 Capacity Development
Solomon Islands economy (as well as skills required in the region and

internationally);
Policy Issue and Policy Outcome
• information on the cost-effectiveness, flexibility and responsiveness of a

range of skills delivery approaches; and
The key policy issue is how to strengthen human resource development
• information needed to implement a policy of outcomes-based skills
throughout the education sector. There is a need to strengthen the capacity
training with public finance linked to outcomes.
of staff of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development to

be able to implement effectively the Education Sector Investment and
Proposed Investments
Reform Programme (ESIRP) and to integrate the project of Stabex99 into

MEHRD recurrent activities. There are similar capacity development needs
The following investments are proposed:
for staff in the provincial education authorities. There are also skill

development needs in schools, with particular reference to management skills
• Support for any necessary adjustments to national technical and
and financial skills.
vocational education policy, and for the associated development and

implementation of a strategic plan for delivery of post-secondary
The expected policy outcome will be trained and competent staff, both in the
technical and vocational education and training (the National Skills
MEHRD and in provincial education authorities, who are capable of
Training Plan).
managing and implementing the Sector Wide Programme (SWAp) including
• Develop and implement a policy on entitlements for out-of-school
its major education reforms.. Principals and Head Teachers will also have
technical and vocational training.
well developed management skills, including educational leadership skills,

personnel management, project management and financial management
Support for undertaking further national training needs assessments
skills.
in future (as necessary, once the 2006 study undertaken by the World

Bank and NZAID has been received and assessed).
Government Policy Response
• Provide support for Rural Training Centres

• Undertake an audit of SICHE technical courses, and, depending on
This Framework provides the basis of a capacity building programme for the
the result of this audit, undertake a feasibility study for the
MEHRD and Education Authorities. The programme will continue for 8
establishment of a national polytechnic.
years. The MEHRD accepts that effective policy development, co-ordination
• Strengthen Vanga Teachers’ College.
and management is a cornerstone of a well-performing education system.
• Expand opportunities for on-job training.
High-level skills are required to manage and give effect to the programme of
• Negotiate work experience placements with employers for students.
education reform and school infrastructure development. Critical skills
• Develop pilot skill development projects.
required include efficiency, organisation and delivery of programmes (e.g.
• Undertake on-going consultation with the private sector.
teacher professional development programmes), procurement skills, ICT-

skills, contract management and supervision, relationship management, and
Increase the provision of short courses at the national level, with a
financial management. Other essential skills include monitoring and
focus on courses that maximise public returns.
evaluation skills, and report writing skills. In all these skill areas there are

weaknesses both at MEHRD level, at provincial education authority level, in

other education authorities, and at the school and institution level.
53


introduction of an effective performance appraisal system may assist in this
There is also a need to integrate the activities currently undertaken by staff of
respect.
the EU Programme Implementation Unit into the mainstream of the

MEHRD. Integration of these programmes into the MEHRD will require
The Inspectorate Service monitors the teaching of the curriculum, ensures
the development of staff with financial management skills, high level
that teachers are present at schools, and that financial resources are allocated
computer spreadsheet and word processing skills, and contract management
according to expectations. It also supports teachers in developing their
skills. The management of the school infrastructure grants programmes will
professional skills. The Inspectorate is understaffed and under-resourced and
require specialist property and facilities management skills.
does not have a sufficient number of suitably qualified and experienced
The issue is not so much a shortage of staff, as a shortage of staff with the
officers to inspect all schools, particularly secondary schools. The capacity of
appropriate high-level skills to manage the system.
the Inspectorate needs to be significantly strengthened if the MEHRD is to

be assured that national expectations are being met.
It is accepted that, while some financial and management training for staff

has been undertaken, the need for continuous improvement in a range of
The skill sets required of teachers are addressed elsewhere (in the section on
skill areas still exists.
Teacher Quality).


An Organisational and Institutional Assessment (IOA) is required that
Proposed Investments
identifies the organisation needs and skills and competencies of personnel
that are required to manage the education sector programme efficiently. An

audit will also be required of the organisation, skills, and the level of
The following investments are proposed
proficiency, that currently exist in staff at MEHRD national office, at


provincial level in education authorities, and at the school level.
• Undertake an Institutional and Organisational Assessment (IOA) of

the organisational aspects and skills of personnel required to manage
On the basis of this audit and associated survey, gaps in existing capacity of
the education sector
the organisation and its staff should be identified. An Organisational Change
• Design a Plan for Organisational Change and/or Human Resources
and/or Human Resources Development Plan should then be developed.
Development Plan
This plan will guide management of change in MEHRD and could include
• Identify and engage with stakeholders who could contribute with TA
in-house training for staff to improve in areas where existing skills are
and financial assistance to the practical follow up of the Plan for
deemed to be inadequate. Some training packages will need to target all staff.
Organisational Change and/or Human Resource Development Plan
Other packages will focus on skills sets required of managers. Other targeted
• Implement the Organisational Change and/or Human Resources
programmes may need to target specific skills sets appropriate to specific
Development Plan
jobs. To manage this process of capacity development, it is likely that it will

be necessary to contract an external accredited provider of high quality

recognised training that leads to a recognised qualification.



Incentives may be needed to encourage staff to invest the time and effort

that will be needed to result in a substantial lift in staff performance. The
54

12.15 Efficiency
and administration of the system. Similarly, the MEHRD will take steps to

re-establish school boards of management and a community awareness
Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes
programme to ensure local level involvement in education and to stimulate
families to enrol their children at school.

The policy issue is whether there is wastage in the education system that
Investments will focus on identifying cost-effective ways to improve
could be eliminated, and whether the existing resources used to support the
efficiency. Efficiency checks are required at the system and at the school
education system are being used as efficiently as possible. The desired policy
level. The MEHRD will consider efficiency and restructuring options, but is
outcome is that available resources be used to maximise educational
not in a position to make a commitment to any specific course of action or
outcomes (internal efficiency) and that these educational outcomes meet the
reform, at this time. Further analysis and policy development is required
needs of Solomon Islands society and economy (external efficiency). The
before firm decisions can be made. Special attention will be paid to efficiency
education system should meet the following criteria:
issues both at the system level (such as reviews of the configuration of
• criteria, indicators and information systems would be in place to monitor
schooling provision, and of school staffing), and at the school level.
internal efficiency and to support management and school improvement;
Consideration will also be given to the impact of increasing resources for

operations, teaching and learning materials, maintenance and supplies within
external efficiency should be monitored, based on information from
the framework of school improvement plans.
industry and commerce, rate of return analyses and tracer studies;

• policies and plans would be based on realistic resource projections and
The Government’s response will be to adopt a mix of different policies that
inputs would be financed to ensure adequate balance (e.g. non-salary
have the potential to increase efficiencies. The process will involve a careful,
recurrent inputs would be adequate);
information-based analysis of efficiency in the existing system, and the
• public resources should be allocated equitably, and a system of equity
identification and analysis of difficult policy reforms to reduce repetition,
targets and indicators would be developed; and
increase pupil: teacher ratios (or enforce existing staffing guidelines), redirect
• the need for donor support would be eliminated over time.
available resources towards operating costs and learning materials, upgrade

staff, and provide more equitable financing of primary and secondary
The education policy issues include:
education. Savings realised through implementing such reforms would be

available for quality enhancements under this Education Strategic Framework
• how to constrain recurrent costs;
2007-2015 and the related planning documents.
• how to increase efficiency through rationalisation of schools with non-

viable numbers, reduced repetition, improved pupil: teacher ratios, and
Staffing requirements for schools are set out in the publication Ministry of
the use of multi-grade teaching and technology; and
Education & Training: Solomon Islands Teaching Service: Teaching Service Handbook.
• how to improve external efficiency, while protecting personal choice.
The MEHRD will examine whether further reform to existing staffing

arrangements can be undertaken in the Solomon Islands context.
Government Policy Response

A preliminary examination of school rolls and the teacher and student
The MEHRD recognises that it needs to take steps to improve internal
numbers at individual schools has revealed quite wide variations in teacher:
efficiencies, reduce costs and wastage in the system, and to build partner
student ratios and unit costs. Data from a survey of primary schools
confidence. To these ends the National Board of Education will ensure
conducted some years ago shows that there is a wide range in mean school
community and stakeholder participation in determining the future direction
enrolments, with a number of very small and very large schools in each
55

province. There is also variation between provinces as to the mean size of
The current national network of schooling provision will be analysed, with a
each school, with the mean school enrolment in Honiara, Malaita,
view to finding ways of improving effectiveness and efficiency in the use of
Guadalcanal and Isabel being higher than the national average. The data
scarce resources for education. The goal will be to establish a national
suggests that cost reductions might be achieved by merging some smaller
network of schooling provision, based on principles of access, efficiency and
schools to achieve larger classes, with one trained teacher to a full class of 30
effectiveness. The possibility of school mergers where appropriate will be
pupils. There is a need for local level planning to ensure equitable access
examined, and measures to eliminate overcrowding will be considered. The
within provinces, and national level coordination to ensure that children in
possibility of mergers of education authorities will also be investigated.
one province are not inequitably disadvantaged or advantaged.


In situations where efficiencies appear to be possible and viable, the
The same survey indicates that some primary schools were not offering all
MEHRD will also initiate a process of community engagement to identify
grades. The MEHRD aims to achieve an average of one trained teacher for
the most effective site solution, with a view to improving the overall quality
every class of 30 pupils. The mean class size reported by surveyed schools is
of education provision. While it may be logical to merge schools for reasons
significantly less than this, and actually declines between the Preparatory Year
of economies of scale or a more effective use of scarce resources, the
and Standard 6. Adopting multi-grade teaching will allow classes to be
emotional attachment of communities to schools must also be dealt with. It
amalgamated and would result in a need for fewer smaller schools, or fewer
may be useful to consider providing incentives where school mergers seem
untrained teachers being employed. The MEHRD will consider whether
possible or desirable (such as reinvestment of savings on an identified site for
there is scope for rationalisation and a better (and fairer) distribution of
a period of time, or using savings for purchase of supporting learning
resources.
resources such as computers).

On the basis of projected efficiency savings over the longer term, the
Block grants could be delivered twice yearly to schools as an efficiency
MEHRD will propose maintenance of the current Government allocations
measure (instead of quarterly as at present) to enable Principals to manage
to education, and external funding of other costs through budgetary support.
schools more effectively.
To complement this approach, the MEHRD will move forward with

preliminary analysis and policy development of efficiency options, leading to
The MEHRD and the provincial education authorities will consider whether
a reform and investment strategy, based on the information that is available.
an appropriate decentralised staffing policy might be more effective in

meeting the requirements of schools and other sectors of the education
In the context of analysing efficiency issues, the MEHRD will examine
system.
critically how resources are currently used at the system level within the

existing Vote: Education, and whether the current use of resources
The following investments would be supported:
represents best value for money. It is acknowledged that the necessary

analysis of these issues and the subsequent development and implementation
• analysis of unit costs at all levels of the system;
of suitable education policies will take some time to complete, and that
• pilot testing options for multi-grade teaching and alternative pupil:
where community involvement is required, building understanding and
teacher ratios;
consensus on the way forward will be both difficult and time-consuming. For
• assistance to schools in developing school improvement plans;
this reason, the time frame to achieve the efficiencies sought in the Solomon
Islands education system may extend over several years.
• block grants to schools to develop improvement plans and to monitor

implementation and impacts;
56

• analysis and policy development in respect of current schooling provision
will be eliminated, and that standards of children’s safety will be protected by
(school mergers); and
provision of clean drinkable water and good quality sanitation facilities.
• dissemination and implementation of school staffing policies.


Government Policy Response
Outputs and outcomes anticipated may include some or all of the following:


A large number of primary schools has been established to serve the needs of
• revised budget priorities and submissions with increased Government
widely dispersed and small communities. Many of these are small schools
allocations for non-salary recurrent inputs to increase efficiency;
which have insufficient enrolment to allow them to offer all grades, which

have small classes, which fail to attract trained teachers, and which are
decentralisation of decisions on resource allocations to the school level;
expensive to support. Although improvements have been made to many
• validated options for improving pupil: teacher ratios through use of
primary schools through the Primary and Secondary School Infrastructure
multi-grade teaching, ICT and other innovations; and
Development Programmes, primary school infrastructure in some schools is
• a comprehensive system of indicators to monitor systemic efficiency.
still a serious state of disrepair, and needs improvement.

Proposed New Investments
National, provincial and community resources have been directed to
establishing Community High Schools. The rapid growth of these schools

has largely been unplanned by either the Education Authorities or the
The following investments are proposed
MEHRD. In many cases they have been established as a result of community


pressure and not as a result of an analysis of population distribution or areas
• Analysis of unit costs.
of greatest need. Although Community High Schools have significantly
• Develop policy for current schooling provision (school mergers).
increased access to junior secondary education, they have grown with little

reference to the capacity of the Government to provide teachers, equipment
Disseminate and implement policy on school staffing.
or resources. Most lack the facilities needed to deliver quality education in all
• Pilot test options for changing pupil: teacher ratios.
junior secondary subjects, are poorly maintained and are staffed by

inadequately untrained teachers.
12.16 School Infrastructure
It is essential that a planned approach be taken to rationalise the number of

primary schools and to control the rate of establishment of new Community
Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes
High Schools, and to manage the repair and re-equipping of existing schools.

If the number of school places continues to expand without national and
The key policy issue is how to maintain and develop a quality school
regional plans, quality will continue to decline and the cost to government
infrastructure (school buildings) to accommodate a rapidly increasing
will expand further beyond its capacity.
expansion in the school-age population. Existing school buildings in many
parts of the Solomon Islands are in poor repair or have not been well
An assessment will be made of all school infrastructure, including water and
maintained, and schools therefore lack proper storage and classroom space.
sanitation needs. The MEHRD, in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands,
Good quality school furniture is often not readily available. Specialist rooms
will assess the condition and determine the exact location of all schools
(science laboratories, etc) are not available for many new community high
nation wide. This information will be used in conjunction with census and
schools. The policy outcome anticipated is that all school students will
topographical data to define the catchment for each primary and junior
receive access to instruction in well appointed schools, that overcrowding
secondary school, to quantify school repair needs, and identify locations in
57

which schools might be established, amalgamated or reduced. This
under way.
information will be provided to provincial officials to devise provincial plans
In order to avoid overcrowding, it may be necessary to set a standard for a
for the refurbishment of existing schools and to identify those locations at
maximum class size (e.g. 1:35 teacher: pupil ratio).
which new schools will be established. Priority will be given to establishing
Community High Schools in catchments large enough to provide student
Since provision of expensive resources is an issue, several schools could
numbers sufficient for all primary grades, and to which junior secondary
share specialised facilities where appropriate, such as science laboratories.
grades may be added. These plans may include reclassifying some primary
It is recognised that current arrangements for management of school
schools to cater for junior primary grades (Standard 1 to 3) with pupils
property responsibilities could improve. The MEHRD will consider the
transferring to a Central School when old enough to travel the extra
establishment of a separate property division, with responsibility for
distances involved.
planning, management and supervision of all school infrastructure
A policy for school establishment and school land acquisition will be
development. A separate Property Division for MEHRD would need a
developed. Land on which schools are located has become a growing
presence/link with the provinces. The Planning, Coordination and Research
concern with an increasing number of land disputes caused in part by the
Unit of MEHRD is responsible for policy development, planning, and
expansion of primary schools into Community High Schools. This situation
monitoring, and while it may be expected to plan and exercise strategic
will be addressed by ensuring that all land sites where schools are located
oversight of school property development, it does not yet have the resources
must be registered under the controlling Education Authority. Results of
or skills available to implement the programme. What is needed is the
topographical surveys undertaken by the Ministry of Lands will be made
development of a comprehensive national plan for school infrastructure
available to the MEHRD so that EMIS can incorporate a digitalised school-
development, with a clear allocation of priorities.
mapping format. MOUs and agreements on land acquisition will be signed

between EAs and landowners. All school land will be registered by 2015.
The MEHRD will complete Phase 1 of the Primary School Infrastructure

Programme and carried out an independent review in February 2007. The
The MEHRD will continue to seek donor assistance to specify and cost
MEHRD acknowledges that the current programmes (Secondary Schools
standard buildings, including multipurpose buildings for science, home
Grant Programme/ Primary Infrastructure Programme/Minor Capital
economics, industrial arts and creative arts, and make these available.
Works/Grass Roots/Community Sector Programme/Micro Projects
Likewise donor assistance will be sought to develop and cost a programme to
Programme) need to be better coordinated, but still allow for different
establish school libraries at all Community High Schools, and to prepare a
approaches by donors and communities, because school and community
national plan to improve communication with schools and schools
needs, availability and suitability of local materials and (inter)national designs
broadcasting.
for classroom construction could be very diverse. The selection of schools to
The Provincial Plans and those completed by the MEHRD will be co-
participate in the different programmes will be better coordinated and
ordinated, and consolidated into one National School Infrastructure
improved awareness-raising will be promoted by the MEHRD through
Development Programme for government approval. Government will seek
Provincial Education Offices. MEHRD will try to harmonise the two
donor assistance in implementing the 10-year Programme to establish
different infrastructure programmes for the different levels of primary and
Community High Schools and to provide sufficient classrooms for all pupils
secondary and merge them into one standardised system for identification,
in primary schools and for junior secondary pupils by 2015.
awareness raising, community involvement, capacity building, procurement,
financial management and construction.
The MEHRD proposes that Education Authorities and other bodies place a

moratorium on expanding existing or creating new schools while planning is
58

Water and sanitation are regarded as a high priority, as generally standards are
• carry out the recommendations of the review in 2007 of Phase I of
very poor. The Primary Infrastructure Programme will include improvements
the Primary Infrastructure Programme.
to water and sanitation as part of the building programme. A minimum
• Finalise the assessment report on the earth quake and Tsunami and
school standard (infrastructure/water and sanitation /management/learning
develop response and recovery plan (2007) including costings
resources) will be established and adopted to assist provinces with their
• Complete the refurbishment programme at the School of Education,
provincial education action plans.
SICHE


MEHRD agrees that it needs to support school community needs, not the
After a national survey of all infrastructural needs of the whole
other way around. Primary Infrastructure building designs should reflect local
education system in SI, develop a comprehensive national plan for
needs and availability of local materials. For instance, there is a lack of gravel
school infrastructure development, with a clear allocation of
and sand in some locations. A provincial-based engineer with local
priorities
knowledge is required.



It is recognised that students should have better access to learning materials
12.17 Information and Communications Technology
and well equipped libraries.


Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes
The response to the earthquake and Tsunami of April 2007 is regarded as a

priority. An assessment must be made of the damage in the affected areas
The policy issue is whether and how new and modern information and
and then a response and recovery plan needs to be developed, with plans for
communications technology can be used to improve learning and education
infrastructure, curricula and counselling and training. Meanwhile the co-
outcomes. The desired policy outcome is that the Solomon Islands has an
ordination between and collaboration with different stakeholders and
education system that provides as many students as possible with up to date
Development Partners in this response must be managed by the MEHRD.
skills in the use of information technology, and that the system uses
MEHRD must document the different phases and experiences of
available information and communications technologies to maximum
assessment, response and recovery in order to create local capacity in coping
advantage in planning, management, and the delivery of educational services.
with natural disasters in the future and getting less dependent from external

TA support for education in emergency situations.
The education system should meet the following criteria:


Also the refurbishment programme of the School of Education at SICHE is
• the needs of the Solomon Islands economy and private sector for
recognised as one of the main areas for improvement of infrastructure.
personnel skilled in information and communications technology would

be met;
Proposed Investments


training in ICT would focus on training at all levels to ensure maximum
The following investments are proposed:
benefits are achieved;

• students at all levels of the system would develop competence in using
• establishment of a separate property division within MEHRD to
new information and communications technologies;
plan, to harmonise and to implement the infrastructure needs of
• new ICT-based opportunities for delivering instruction would be
schools
evaluated and adopted, as appropriate, in areas such as multi-grade
59

teaching, distance education, assessment and remediation, and meeting
need to consider how the Distance Learning Centre Project will merge with
special needs;
any new proposals.
• a broad range of life-long learning opportunities would be made available

to all Solomon Islanders; and
Under the direction of a senior official, the MEHRD will undertake a
• ICT would be effectively integrated into the operation of the sector
comprehensive review of options for using information and communications
through use of the EMIS and other initiatives, including improved
technology in four areas:
systems of school records, scheduling and dissemination of information.
• the capacity of the education system to upgrade information and

communications technology skills in the population at large, in order to
Government Policy Response
contribute to the Solomon Islands economy;


the capacity of the MEHRD and other institutional providers to use
The MEHRD recognises that there are unique opportunities in the use of
information and communications technology to deliver improved
information and communications technology (ICT) and approaches.

services;
Investments in information and communications technology will assist in
• the use of information and communications technology to improve
more efficient management and analysis of information, but will need to be
learning and teaching, and to deliver instruction, and
offset by efficiency-related savings in service delivery, if they are to be
• the capacity of the MEHRD to use ICT to improve management
affordable. Opportunities to invest in ICT as well as in human resource
decisions.
potential will be acted upon accordingly where the efficiency related savings

cover expenses. The MEHRD also recognises that the geography and
This activity would probably require a major review of the ICT literature, a
isolation of parts of the Solomon Islands, and the associated expense, may
study tour to countries that have appropriate systems in operation, and the
make implementation of an ICT policy difficult and slow.
commissioning of a series of studies. The objective of this exercise would be

to both develop a set of policy recommendations (to be included in this
The MEHRD will develop its capacity to design and revise an ICT policy
Education Policy Framework 2007-2015) and to put in place a system to ensure
and strategy on an ongoing basis. This approach may require an explicit ICT
that policies and strategies are continuously reviewed and updated in light of
brief in the job description of a senior MEHRD official. Given the rate at
changes in technology. An Advisory Board could be used to ensure that
which technology changes, intensive and focused on-going tracking of issues
information remains current.
and opportunities will be required.


There is international support for ICT initiatives. The MEHRD will develop
It is recognised that ICT is another tool to facilitate and enhance teaching
a policy on how best to use this support, including the use of technical
and learning. Schools will need to have a policy to guide pupils in use of ICT
assistance and volunteers. NZAID and EU are supporting a regional
(e.g. computer use). Sustainability of facilities and technical support is also an
initiative on educational policy and planning (PRIDE Project). The
issue.
MEHRD will explore opportunities for technical assistance and the broader

issues of collaboration in the development of curricular materials and
ICT as a tool for improved planning and management in schools is
instructional software that is appropriate to Pacific Island states.
supported. The MEHRD will also consider the use of radio as a means of
The cost structure of ICT differs fundamentally from traditional educational
teaching children, and will use the strengths of the medium for educational
inputs. Capital costs (hardware, software development, replacement of
purposes e.g. traditional Solomon Islands music etc. The MEHRD will also
equipment) are relatively high. The marginal costs of replicating instructional
materials and service delivery are extremely low, approaching zero in some
60

instances. This factor implies a major change in the paradigm of policy
under which schools and other institutions could pilot test and
analysis and planning, as well as regional and international collaboration in
evaluate ICT solutions;
sharing these high development costs. The MEHRD will seek to invest the
• analysis of the cost-effectiveness of ICT delivery modalities, with
gains resulting from more efficient distribution of materials and improved
special emphasis on the costs and benefits of substituting
management and administrative systems in educational improvement
technology for labour, and the potential impact on salary savings
initiatives, as a way of offsetting the higher capital costs of ICT investment.
relative to costs;
The MEHRD recognises that capital investment will be required through
• analysis of the capacity and costs associated with maintaining and
Government of the Solomon Islands budgetary support and through external
supporting ICT hardware and software, and appropriate
donor assistance in order to achieve the potential benefits that ICT might
schedules for equipment depreciation and replacement, and
generate.
• establishing an ICT Education Advisory Committee.


Additional funding will be sought to provide the information technology and
Outputs and outcomes anticipated include the following:
training needed to efficiently manage the system. Investments will focus on

improving the information base related to ICT and on identifying and testing
institutionalised MEHRD capacity (staff and procedures) to
options for using ICT at all levels of the system. Given the rapid rate of
review “state of the art” ICT opportunities for education and
change in ICT, the MEHRD will need the capacity to update information
training;
and revise policies on a continuous basis.
• ICT policies, validated on the basis of pilot tests; and

• systems and policies in place to support integration with ICT in
Experience throughout the world indicates that distance education and
capacity building/training and to support ICT-services. Also to
information technology are extremely important and normally complement
maintain and upgrade equipment.
each other. The MEHRD will develop a Distance Flexible Learning and e-

learning policy and ICT-policy.. It will implement a pilot project in
Proposed Investments
collaboration with PFnet and Solomon Telecom to establish distance

learning centres in rural secondary schools. The pilot projects will be
The following investments are proposed:

evaluated and the outcomes disseminated to schools. The MEHRD will

continue to work with SIBC and SOE/SICHE to support school broadcasts
• Develop DFL/e-mail learning policy and ICT-policy for education in
via pilot projects in three province
Solomon Islands.

• Review of best practice for use of DFL/e-mail learning and of the
The MEHRD proposes the following investments be supported:
integration of ICT in Ministries of Education and education

programmes
• development of a policy for DFL/e-learning and ICT-policy for
• Design pilot projects using ICT at all levels.
MEHRD

• Analyse options for use of ICT-based distance education.
developing a system for collection and analysis of information on
ICT educational uses and “best practice” elsewhere;
• Institution capacity building in using ICT for administration.


dissemination of information on ICT options to school
managers, linked with criteria and a system of competitive grants


61


Government Policy Response
12.18 Financing Options and Financial Sustainability


The MEHRD recognises that it may be necessary to adjust its expectations to
Policy Issue and Policy Outcomes
reflect resource availability. It will therefore develop a range of “scenarios” to

ensure that its plans are realistic and can be implemented. This “reality
The key policy issue is how to secure adequate sustainable finance to support
therapy” will mean constraining new investments to levels and rates
the education sector, given the Government’s limited resources. The desired
consistent with the capacity of the Government to finance recurrent costs
policy outcome is that the Solomon Islands provides high quality educational
and within the MEHRD’s staffing and capacity. On this basis it will be
services to meet the needs of all citizens, with provision to ensure the
possible to make some moves immediately, without the delay associated with
equitable allocation of public funds and targeted support to vulnerable
analysis, or the need to meet the demands of donor agencies.
groups on a time frame and basis that is financially realistic and sustainable.


At the same time, the MEHRD proposes to undertake a careful, systematic,
The education system should meet the following criteria:
information-based analysis of efficiency in the existing system. Savings

realised through such reforms would be available to (partially or fully)

address the recurrent cost implications of new investments proposed under
policies and plans would be based on realistic resource projections;
this Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015 and the related planning
• conditions of service (in both Government and non-Government
documents. At present, the Solomon Islands budget is insufficient to
institutions) would be adequate to attract and retain qualified and
adequately support free universal basic education up to from 3, and to
motivated staff;
support the other services provided or administered by the MEHRD. New
• recurrent costs would be controlled to ensure an effective balance of
investments and extension of public support to include the junior secondary
staff and other inputs;
schools carry the danger of “over-stretching” resources which may result in a
• assets would be appropriately maintained and sufficient resources should
“downstream” deterioration of quality and efficiency.
be allocated for this purpose;

• public resources would be allocated equitably, and a system of equity
The MEHRD takes the view that the goals and policy objectives emerging
targets and indicators would be developed and tracked;
from the provincial education action plans and the national education action
• provisions would be in place to ensure that low income and other groups
plan and subsequent consultations are of sufficient importance and urgency
with special needs have equitable access to quality education; and
to warrant “fast track” implementation. While, in the medium term, these
• need for donor support would be eliminated over time.
investments may “outstrip” the Government’s capacity to finance recurrent

costs, in the long term they will need to be financially sustainable. Of greater
The education policy issues include
importance, the investments in education and human resources will

contribute directly to economic growth and development in the Solomon
• how to constrain recurrent costs;
Islands, thereby providing the revenue base necessary to make them

financially sustainable.
whether, and under what conditions, external support for recurrent

expenses should be sought; and
The MEHRD will therefore continue to argue for (and provide justification
• the appropriate scale and timing to implement the Education Strategic
for) increased annual Government allocations to education, and external
Framework 2007-2015 and associated planning documents.
funding of recurrent costs through budgetary support. External support will
62

be for a fixed period (say, for the remaining nine years of this planning
Experience of disbursing school rehabilitation funds provided by
period) on a decreasing scale. This approach will be predicated on the
development partners has highlighted the need for improved financial
assumption that, with economic growth, the Government would be able to
control and reporting mechanisms at the level of the Education Authorities
eventually fully finance the improved system without continued dependence
and in schools. Financial training programmes for Principals and Bursars in
on external funding, thus leading to a sustainable system. A clear plan for
primary and secondary schools have been implemented in 2006 to improve
implementing efficiency reforms will be developed as an essential
financial management.
precondition for seeking additional resources. There will be a need for a
The Government of the Solomon Islands has adopted the policy that grants
transparent review of public expenditure to secure the budgetary support
for school operation and regular maintenance will be based on a per capita
required.
grant for each student enrolled. While this procedure has not always been

implemented smoothly and consistently, a grant system based on enrolments
The financing of education in Solomon Islands is supervised by an
remains the objective.
Education Coordinating Committee which meets every quarter. The
proposed approach will require close engagement of the Government with
The MEHRD has also accepted the principle of establishing a Community
donors, and discussion of how other micro funds supplied by donors will be
Standard for School Funding, by which stakeholders (national government,
incorporated within a coherent framework. It has been practice for a
education authorities and school communities) will agree and abide by their
Memorandum of Understanding to be developed to set out understandings
mutual obligations to resource each school. In implementing this formula the
of each partner. Partners are encouraged to sign up to the MOU, more
MEHRD is providing training for system administrators, school managers
recently called a Letter of Arrangement.
and treasurers, as well as community awareness and mobilisation

programmes. The Provincial Education Action Plans include
Experience with the expenditure of education funds has highlighted
recommendations for implementation of the Community Standard Funding
deficiencies in financial management at Education Authority and school
arrangements, and the implementation of these recommendations will be
levels. The MEHRD has designed a financial management training
monitored carefully over the three years 2007-2009.
programme for appropriate personnel in MEHRD, provincial education
The following investments will be supported:
authorities and schools that includes simplified procedures for school

financial record keeping, to ensure that funds are expended according to the
• training, study tours, technical assistance and other activities required to
prescribed purpose and can be accounted for. This training programme will
strengthen MEHRD capacity in financial planning, forecasting,
provide more confidence that national and international funds are wisely and
developing projections, and management;
correctly used.
• construction of indices and indicators to track the financial and equity
The Education Act specifies the funding procedures for the education
implications of the existing system and proposed reforms, including a
system, which in summary commit Education Authorities to finance schools.
public expenditure review of the education sector.
In the case of Provincial Education Authorities, funds are to be provided by

the provincial government. Provincial government support, especially to
Outputs and outcomes anticipated include the following:
primary schools, has been minimal, while those funds that have been

specifically granted by the national government in the past have been used
• the capacity to execute systematic analyses of the entire education sector,
for other purposes, within and outside the education system. The MEHRD
projecting costs and effectiveness under different “scenarios” of resource
has been given responsibility for disbursing school operation grants to the
Education Authorities to achieve more control over their allocation.
63

allocation, with recommendations regarding reallocation of resources
between sub-sectors, and in ways that maximise access and equity; and
• a comprehensive plan and proposal for combining Government and
external support under a Medium Term Expenditure Framework, leading
to sustainable high-quality education.

Proposed Investments

The following investments are proposed:

• Capacity development activities to strengthen financial planning,
forecasting, projection and reporting.
• Development of indices and indicators.
• A review of public expenditure within the education sector.
• Strengthening of monitoring capability.
• Development of a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)
• Identification of stakeholders (Development Partners) for Technical
Assistance in the proposed investments above


64

13 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
thoroughly and successfully. This aspect is described in the first Policy Area

(Policy Development, Planning and Monitoring). This monitoring is an essential part
A critical aspect of the Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015 and the related
of effective management of the overall planning process.
planning document (the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009) will be the

monitoring and evaluation framework that is put in place to monitor
Regular semi-annual reporting against all the performance measures in the
progress of the plans as they proceed, and to evaluate and modify the plans
National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 will be required. This monitoring
as necessary.
should be integrated with the semi-annual reports and the annual Digests of

Education Statistics of MEHRD.
A robust monitoring and evaluation framework would include performance

indicators of quality, quantity, timeliness and cost to measure performance
The information recorded within the Solomon Islands Education
against agreed objectives. Some preliminary performance measures have been
Management Information System will need to be used with the performance
constructed in the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009. These include
measures included in the planning documents in mind, in order to allow the
specific targets. These measures need to be further developed over time as
capture and recording of the essential information that is needed to track
part of the planning process to include appropriate dimensions of quality,
progress against the specified benchmarks and to ensure that effective
quantity, timeliness and cost. Regular reporting against each of these
monitoring takes place.
performance measures is required.


Feedback from the monitoring of the plan should be used to make
The National Education Action Plan, (NEAP) 2007-2009 also includes the
adjustments to the planning documents on an annual basis as the proposed
development of a Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) which will
activities are implemented. Experience in managing the plans will show
identify a minimum set of core indicators to enable all stakeholders to follow
where targets were unrealistic, or where timing needed to be adjusted
the progress in the Sector Wide Programme (SWAp)/NEAP. It is also
because of unanticipated events. Those responsible for monitoring the plans
necessary to develop some minimum standards as the basis on which the
should also be engaged in the process of forward planning as the MEHRD
quality and success if the Solomon Islands education system could be
Corporate Plan, National Education Action Plan, 2007-2009 and other future
monitored. These standards were originally developed at the Annual Joint
planning documents are revised and redesigned on a rolling basis.
Review of the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme

(ESIRP) in June 2004 and now need to be revised and aligned to the PAF.

The selected indicators provide a basis for the sector level monitoring and
evaluation framework, to assist MEHRD officers, education authorities,
donor partners and other education sector stakeholders in evaluating
progress towards the goals and objectives of the ESIRP, phase II, NEAP and
the Education Strategic Framework (ESF). Progress against the agreed PAF
should be reported at least annually at both provincial and national levels.

The MEHRD needs to ensure that it has, within its organisational structure,
developed the capacity necessary to manage the ongoing monitoring and
reporting against the performance measures in the planning documents. At
least one full-time staffing position is required to undertake this work
65

14 Financing
• To develop and implement an improved and harmonised school

infrastructure programme for primary, secondary education and
It will be necessary to estimate the costs of implementing the proposed
TVET.
education reform package outlined in this Framework. To do this, it is

proposed that a Medium Term Expenditure Framework be developed in
The MEHRD will structure its Annual Budget submissions around the
order to provide a basis for the MEHRD budgeting. The strategy proposed
National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 and the different strategies. This
to implement the complete package included in the two integrated planning
process will reflect the Solomon Islands Government priorities, and possible
documents (the Education Strategic Framework 2004-2015 and the National
anticipated external support. Costs incorporated within the Education Strategic
Education Action Plan 2007-2009) is described in more detail in this section.
Framework 2007-2015 and the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 will
.
both be based on the Solomon Islands Government internal Budget
The approach adopted will be to focus on the Solomon Islands Government
processes and approach. In general, two main principles could be followed:
two main education goals: universal basic education, and technical and

vocational education. These two key goals will be implemented through a
Continuity. The Solomon Islands Government and development partners
focus on the six key strategies approved by the Education Coordinating
recognise agree that the existing accomplishments in the education sector
Committee meeting at its October meeting. These key strategies for
must be protected. The first priority, therefore, is to ensure continuity of
development are:
existing programmes and services with no compromise on quality and

standards. The existing funds provided by the Solomon Islands Government
• To strengthen planning, management, co-ordination and monitoring
for each of the designated Programmes in its Annual Budget will be
of the SWAp, in particular of the National Education Action Plan,
maintained in this category.
NEAP (2007-2009) and Education Sector Framework ESF, 2007-2015

Improvement. The Education Strategic Framework 2007-2015 has identified a
• To develop (like for Secondary and Tertiary education), revise (like
number of areas in which the MEHRD wishes to expand access (particularly
the Education Act) or finalise (like for Early Childhood) policies for
Universal Basic Education) and to improve the quality of existing services.
the different sub sectors or cross cutting areas (like Teacher Training
Development partners have been supporting improvements to the Solomon
and Development, decentralisation processes)
Islands education system for some years, and have indicated a willingness in

principle to continue to assist the Solomon Islands Government in
On the basis of a national demand, to ensure longer term interest,
mobilising resources required to meet the objectives set out in the planning
technical assistance (including the development of a national TA-
documents. Donors will be invited to contribute funding to new proposed
pool) and funding from Development Partners for the SWAp,
Sub-Sector Programmes for improvement of education in Solomon Islands
ESIRPII, NEAP (2007-2009), ESF (2007-2015)

• To develop and implement a programme of Human Resource
The MEHRD will therefore prepare a budget to accompany its three-year
Development and capacity building
National Education Action Plan 2007-2009 within the overall Budget structure,
but with new proposed investments presented within these two broad
• To develop and implement an improved and harmonised grants
categories.
system to support school operations in primary, secondary education

and in TVET.

66


There were 533 primary schools in 2005. 117 Communit6y High Schools
15. Appendix 1: The Solomon Islands Education
also offered primary education, making a total of 650 schools offering
primary education. 100,356 pupils were enrolled in primary education in
System (ECE & Schools)
2005.

Background

Secondary Education

Secondary education follows after primary schooling. Junior secondary
Formal or school based education was first introduced to the Solomon
education spans three years (from form 1 to the end of form 3, average ages
Islands to provide skilled people to administer government, to provide
13 to 15). Senior secondary education covers the next three years, form 4 to
services, to resource the emerging private sector, and to promote the values
the end of form 6 (average ages 16 to 18), and for a small number extends to
of the various churches. It was, and in many ways continues to be seen as, a
the end of form 7.
step to employment in the formal sector, and as a pathway from rural, village
The purpose of secondary education is to expand knowledge of subjects
life.
already studied at primary school including literature, science, mathematics,
Early Childhood Education
social studies, commerce and other subjects essential for physical and

intellectual development. Secondary education is also expected to prepare
students for specialised skills training.
Early Childhood Education centres are community based, staffed by teachers
possessing a Certificate in Teaching from SICHE or personnel who have
There are three types of secondary schools: National Secondary Schools (of
completed the field based training programme (FBTP). The age of enrolment
which there were 9 in 2005), Provincial Secondary Schools (16 in 2005)
in ECE varies from ages 3 to 5 for most, to some who are 8 or 9 years old.
which are boarding schools, and Community High Schools (117 in 2005)
There were 331 ECE Centres in 2005, enrolling 11,251 children.
which are day schools with some limited boarding.
Primary Education
Students are admitted to form 1 on the basis of their performance in the

Solomon Islands Secondary School Entrance Examination. All students
Primary schooling covers seven years of education.
enrolled in these schools follow the same curriculum and sit the form 3
Examination.
Formal education commences at the preparatory year, which is delivered at
primary schools. Children begin the preparatory programme at the age of
Provincial Secondary Schools were established in the 1980s to expand the
approximately six years (some begin at age 5). It lasts for one year.
number of junior secondary school places. They have since expanded to
offer places to students in forms 4 and 5. In many cases the facilities
Children continue at primary school for six further years, progressing from
available, such as libraries, science laboratories and dormitories, have not
standard one (average age 7) through to standard six (average age 12).
been expanded.
The purpose of primary education is to introduce children to the skills
The first Community High Schools were established in the early 1990’s.
needed for writing, reading, mathematics, community studies, science,
There has been a rapid growth in their number, in response to community
agriculture, art, music, physical education and Christian education. Primary
support and pressure. This growth has strained the capacity of governments
education is not compulsory, although governments desire that all children in
to provide trained teachers, equipment and curriculum support materials.
the Solomon Islands attend primary school. A child is expected to
Most do not possess the buildings required to teach all subjects, especially
commence at the age six or seven and continue for six years.
science, or libraries.
67

Enrolment data for secondary schools showed 25,017 students enrolled in
both EAs. The Teaching Service Division (TSD) and TSC do not control the
2005. Of these, 16,188 (64.7%) are enrolled at Community High Schools,
transfer process. The expectation is that the EAs will keep the MEHRD
5,377 (21.5%) are enrolled at Provincial Secondary Schools, and 3,452
informed of these changes, and of teacher absences, but this communication
(13.8%) are enrolled at National Secondary Schools.
does not always happen. When informed, the TSD instructs Treasury to
adjust payroll as required. Frequently the TSD is not informed or fails to up-
While each CHS has fewer students, in total CHSs enrol over 60% of junior
date its records or inform Treasury.
secondary students CHSs provide a cost-effective alternative to residential
boarding schools. There is evidence that parents are more willing to enrol
Curriculum, Assessment and Inspection
daughters in day schools than at PSSs and NSSs, which require them to
The MEHRD is directly responsible for the national curriculum, for
reside away from home.
assessing student performance and for inspecting schools. Together these
Although a number of CHSs have expanded to offer classes to Form 4 and 5
functions provide the quality assurance system for the education system.
level, the majority of pupils progress to these levels at PSS and NSS.
Curriculum
Statistical detail about schools, teachers and school enrolments is included in
The Curriculum Development Centre (part of the MEHRD) is responsible
Digest of Education Statistics 2005, published by MEHRD, using information
for the development of the Solomon Islands national curriculum.
collated from the SIEMIS database.

Inspectorate
The Teaching Work Force
The Inspectorate Service monitors the teaching of the curriculum, ensures
School attendance returns seek information on teacher: name, gender, date-
that teachers are present at schools, and that financial resources are allocated
of-birth, marital status, denomination, registration number, academic
according to expectations. It also supports teachers in developing their
qualification, status as trained or untrained, subject specialisation, salary level,
professional skills.
post and/or date of entering post.

Assessment
The MEHRD has published a Teaching Service Profile Report 2005 which
Students take four external examinations as they pass through the Solomon
summarises this data.
Islands education system. The first three are organised by the National
The Digest of Education Statistics 2005 identifies 739 ECE teachers, 3,964
Examinations and Standards Unit (NESU) under delegation from the
primary teachers and 938 secondary teachers in 2005
Minister of Education. The final examination is controlled by the South
Pacific Board of Educational Assessment (SPBEA) based in Fiji.
Women are significantly under-represented in both the primary and
secondary teaching service.
The examinations are:
Management of the teaching service is complex. New graduates are registered
The Solomon Islands Secondary Entrance Examination (SISEE), taken at the end of
by the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and appointed on probation to a
Year 6, examines all students in English, Mathematics and General Studies
school administered by a provincial or church education authority. Although
(Science and Community Studies). There is no school-based assessment for
the salary of registered teachers is met by the national government, the
this examination. Its original purpose was to select students for progression
teacher is considered to be an employee of the relevant Education Authority
into secondary schooling, and it is still used in some provinces for that
(EA). The EA is able to transfer teachers between schools under its control.
purpose.
Transfers between EAs are initiated by the teacher, and must be approved by
The National Form Three Examination (NF3), taken at the end of form 3
68

examines all form 3 students in English and mathematics, science and social
studies. There is no school-based assessment. Prescriptions are based on the
form 3 Curriculum.
The Solomon Islands School Certificate (SISC), taken at the end of form 5,
examines all students in four core subjects, (English, Mathematics, Science
and Social Studies), and two optional subjects (Agriculture, Art, Business
Studies, Home Economics, Industrial Arts, and New Testament).
Prescriptions are based on the curriculum in each subject. Most subjects
allow for some school-based assessment of aspects that are not easily tested
by a written examination.
The Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate (PSSC), taken at the end of Form 6, is set
by the SPBEA. Uniform prescriptions are set by SPBEA, in consultation
with NESU, and allowance is made for school-based assessment in all
subjects. These assessments are checked each year by SPBEA and compared
with the results of the external examinations. Students who perform well in
PSSC move to tertiary level, while others move to employment or further
training.

69

Appendix 2: Structure of the Formal & Non-Formal Education System
N

I
O


T
FORMAL EDUCATION OPTIONS
NON-FORMAL
A

EDUCATION
C

OPTIONS

EDU

NON-
DEGREE
DIPLOMA
CERTIFICATE
RY
COURSES
COURSES
COURSES
IA
SICHE TVET SHORT
FO
T
COURSES
R
M


TER

A
USP FOUNDATION EXAMINATION
Exit to Non-
L
Formal Options
TECHNICAL
OR
,

COLLEGES
VOCA
SPBEA REGIONAL FORM 7 EXAMINATION
AND RTCs
TIONAL AND
FORM 7
PRIVATE SECTOR
TERTIARY FOUNDATION YEAR
TRAINING
CENTRES
EDUCATION

EXAMINATION
Exit to Non-
PACIFIC SECONDARY SCHOOL CERTIFICATE (PSSC)
Formal Options


TECHNI
Y
R

FORM 6
ICT PROVIDERS
SECONDARY SCHOOL
NDA
CAL EDUCATION
EXAMINATION
Exit to Non-
Formal Options
NTTT UNIT

SECO

SOLOMON ISLAND SCHOOL CERTIFICATE (SISC ACADEMIC) AND



(SISC TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL)

FORM 5
COMMUNITY
SECONDARY SCHOOL
EDUCATION
AND ADULT


UPPER


OPTIONS

FORM 4
LEARNING

SECONDARY SCHOOL
PROGRAMMES

FORM THREE LEAVING CERTIFICATE
Exit to Non-
AND
Formal Options
DISTANCE
FORM FOUR SELECTION EXAMINATION
LEARNING
FORM 3 SECONDARY SCHOOL
FORM 2 SECONDARY SCHOOL
FORM 1 SECONDARY SCHOOL
STANDARD 6
UCATION
D

STANDARD 5



E

STANDARD 4
SIC
STANDARD 3
BA
STANDARD 2



STANDARD 1









PREPARATORY YEAR

EARLY CHILDHOODEDUCATION
70


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