Seleso hands over PCDF funded six classroom block at Faiako in Malaita

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Minister for the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening Rollen Seleso has handed over six classrooms funded through its Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF), at Faiako, near Gwanaru Airport in Malaita today.

Seleso told the Supervising Deputy Premier, Lenty (MPA) and the distinguished guests mainly parents, guardians, staff and students, that the DCGA Government has always placed greater emphasis on primary and higher education amongst its top policy priorities.

The Government, he said, believes that creating a conducive learning environment such as Faiako CHS shall not only encourage parents to enrol their children but also motivate the students who would be using the facilities to learn and pass their exams.

“The impact of constructing this classroom will only be realised when pass rates for the school have increased”, Seleso stated. He added that the measurable impact of the investment that has just been made in Faiako will depend on the combined efforts of the teachers, the parents, and the students themselves.

Seleso said that 240 students who would occupy these six classroom block belong to a generation that are the future leaders of not only Malaita but also the country.

“It is therefore crystal clear that by investing in education, we are investing in the future of Solomon Islands. It is only through education that we can prepare the next generation of leaders of this country. We cannot move this country forward without high quality education, which may only be facilitated in a comfortable environment as demonstrated by Malaita Provincial Government today,” he said.

Seleso congratulated Malaita Province on its overall PCDF performance, in meeting the Nine Minimum Conditions in the recent assessment. The qualification in meeting the 9 MCs meant that MPG is going to receive $5.6m for its capital budget 2021/22. The Minister informed the Supervising Deputy Premier that 60% of the approved $5.6m of PCDF for this year for Malaita has been transferred into the Malaita Provincial PCDF account for its projects. Since the PCDF started in 2008, Malaita Provincial Government has so far delivered 190 solid projects across the Province at a total cost of about SBD60M. Most of these projects have gone a long way in improving the living conditions of the people benefiting from them.

The table below shows the projects delivered by Malaita as per sector from the inception of PCDF and PGSP to date:

Projects Delivered by SectorQuantityActual ExpenditurePeople Employed
Administration Sector6511,027,227200
Works/Transport & Communication116,021,868155
Education4630,108,835371
Health506,102,12094
Agriculture41,095,82324
Water and Sanitation92,888,32972
Fisheries and Marine2922,28629
Women and Sports Development2293,53062
Environment and Conservation11,399,81116
Total19059,859,8291023

On this achievement, Seleso commended MPG for the efforts being made to improve the living conditions of the people citing that it was because of this reason that the Prime Minister announced his good intensions of increasing the PCDF starting from 2022 budget because of the tangible impacts the PM saw in the Provinces he visited for their Second Appointed Days Anniversary Celebrations.

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He assured the Malaita executive that upon his return to Honiara, he would be submitting a Cabinet Paper on the policy proposal made by the Prime Minister for the Cabinet to endorse to endorse PCDF increase in the next budget. The Minister further assured the Deputy Premier that his Ministry is also available for any technical support and guidance that Malaita may require to improve its human capacity to support its service delivery objective.

The Minister stated that the construction of the Six-Classroom Block commenced in 2019 and completed within two years by the Unique Architecture & Builders construction company, which is also a Malaita based construction company at a total cost of $2,167,210. The new Faiako CHS classroom block shall enrol additional 240 students with over half of them girls. The new six classroom block shall serve a population of about 6,747 in 58 villages in Buma Ward. The MPGIS Minister stated that he expects the school roll for Faiako shall increase as a direct result of the new classroom block.

 The Minister expressed his sincere appreciation for the efforts made by the teachers and the community elders for their support towards the construction of Faiako project. He said the school and the communities have been patient since the project started in 2019 but today, everyone is rejoicing over its successful completion. A combination of efforts from the contractors, the communities and the support from the school led to the realisation of this great project who he thanked for their meaningful contributions towards the successful completion of the Faiako Community High School.

 “This investment shows our level of commitment to the future generations of these communities. Those who would benefit from this project are the future leaders of this country and as a result we must take responsibility to invest more on their education to prepare them for their future responsibilities”, he stated. He appealed to the school authorities and the communities whose children would utilise this infrastructure to take great care of it as it is an expensive investment that many communities are requesting but could not get. He said he expects the communities of BUMA and the school authorities to help the MPG to maintain this valuable asset for many more generations to come.

Lenty (MPA) emphasized the MARA Government Policy Statement and Translation that states upgrading of some of the CHS to have forms Six and Seven and Faiako is no exception as the school provides the educational service and need to the people of Buma Ward. He said the MARA Government always sees education as a priority and the handing over of the Faiako classroom is a manifestation of this priority.

The Supervising Deputy Premier described the project as an outstanding achievement made possible by the efforts and sacrifices of everyone involved from the MPGIS, through MPG right down to the Contractor and the community. He thanked the MPG planning and treasury team for the invaluable contributions made towards the successful completion of the Faiako PCDF funded project, which shall directly address the felt needs of the local communities. He said this year 2021/22, MPG will be implementing only eight new PCDF projects in the eight wards that are yet to benefit from the PCDF. He recognized the qualification of MPG for PCDF in the last assessment stating that they are now looking forward to the next assessment in November this year.  He thanked the Faiako teachers, parents and guidance and called on their continued support in taking care of the classroom gift by the SIG.

MPA for Buma Ward 3 where Faiako is located, Martin Fini was another happy man during the handing over of the Faiako Six Classroom Block. He said the successful completion and handing over of this project was a culmination of partnership between his ward, the MPG and the SIG through the MPGIS. He said the concerted efforts of the contractor, the teachers and students must also be commended. On behalf of his ward, he could not express more how appreciative they are for the wonderful gift and the collaboration towards the completion of the project.

Fini stated that the completion of the classroom is a pride for Faiako, a motivation for the children to attend school, morale booster for the teachers and a sanctuary of learning for the future leaders of Faiako, Malaita and the Solomon Islands. He appealed to the teachers, students, parents, guardians and the rest of the community to look after the classrooms well so that future children can also use it.

The Head Master who also shared his comments stated the way the project has been paved for the school to fulfil its aspired plans as they now have more classrooms and spaces for more activities, mobility and learning. He however, lamented the absence of sanitation in the school premises but expressed hopes that the province would put that into its future plans for Faiako.

The Faiako CHS Six Block Classroom consisted of six classrooms with locally made furniture. Hundreds of teachers, students and members of the nearby communities at Faiako turned up to witness the official handing over of their classroom by the MPGIS and MPG to the school board and community. The day’s program included speeches, presentation of tradition shell monies as gifts, feasting and entertainment by a traditional dancing group performing to a contemporary music.

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