Government partners provide new infrastructure for rural Community High School in Ngella
Gela Ilau Community High School (CHS) students in Central Province have received a new SBD 2.3
million dormitory and girl’s ablution block from the governments of Solomon Islands, Australia and
New Zealand through the Solomon Islands Education Sector Support Program (ESSP).
The new education infrastructure was officially handed over by Honourable Anthony Veke,
Supervising Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, His Excellency Jonathan
Schwass, New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, and Ms Sally-Anne Vincent, Acting
Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands during the handover ceremony at Gela Ilau.
“Since 2006 our school has offered education to Year 7, 8 and 9 learners and the problem we have
had is providing decent accommodation for our students, so thank you for your helping hands. Our
female students will be living in high standard accommodation and better facilities such as these will
enhance learners’ education path to become useful human resources for Solomon Islands in the
future,” said David Tutukiri, Principal of Gela Ilau CHS.
The two-storey dormitory will house up to 60 students from Gela Ilau and surrounding communities,
while the ablution block provides facilities for female students at the CHS including a place to do
their laundry. The new infrastructure is equipped with rainwater harvesting capacity that will enable
safe access to water for consumption and other needs for all teachers, staff, and students at the school.
“I am very happy because girls have a good place to stay now with the big dormitory, ablution block
and tank. The tank can catch rainwater which will help us a lot,” said Doreen Tiva, form 3 student
and Head Girl at Gela Ilau CHS, from Koilovala village in Central Province.
ESSP is a partnership between the governments of Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand
which aims to improve access to quality basic education for all children in Solomon Islands. Rural
and remote schools are often impacted by the distance and costs associated with maintaining school
infrastructure. Increasing access to education through improved school infrastructure, especially for
rural communities, is a priority for ESSP partners.
The combined ESSP investment is SBD$385 million over four years (2020-2023) and includes direct
budget support for MEHRD to deliver activities aligned with the National Education Action Plan
(NEAP) 2022-26; technical advisory support to enable capacity development and skills transfer; and
grant funding to non-government organisations to implement initiatives to reach the most
disadvantaged Solomon Islands communities.