Home Education Leokana and Wong officially open Mbokona Science Laboratory

Leokana and Wong officially open Mbokona Science Laboratory

Minister of Education Hon. Tozen Leokana, left, Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator Penny Wong and New Zealand High Commissioner Jonathan Schwas cutting ribbon to officially open the Science laboratory as West Honiara Member of Parliament Hon. Namson Tran looks on.
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In a significant event on Thursday 6 June, the Minister of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), Hon. Tozen Leokana and Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator, Hon. Penny Wong officially handed over a newly built science laboratory to Mbokona Community High.

The science laboratory was funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments through the Education Sector Support Program (ESSP) in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development at a cost of SBD$1,529,102.

The new science laboratory will provide a conducive learning environment for Mbokona CHS students to conduct experiments and investigations.

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Speaking at the official handover ceremony, Minister Leokana said the event is a testament of a collaborative approach of the Solomon Islands government with the governments of Australia and New Zealand, to increase access to quality education especially science education to Solomon Islands children and students.

“It is a testament of help to a friend in need.

“This project and many others that the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands have funded is about transforming education and ensuring that all children receive the best learning they possibly can,” Minister Leokana said.

He also expressed the Government of National Unity and Transformation (GNUT) appreciation and acknowledgement for the numerous supports the governments of Australia and New Zealand have rendered under the current Education Sector Support Program.

He said providing access to science learning is vital to Solomon Islands socio-economic development and individual citizens.

“This is because through studying science our young people who are future leaders of our country can learn scientific knowledge and skills about how the world works and apply their skills to solve problems they face,” Minister Leokana added.

He said the school’s science laboratory will not only allow space where students can be taught about science, but also as a place where they can conduct investigations through experiments or hold discussions and share their thoughts about the science topic they learn in school.

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He added that science education also plays a crucial role in shaping the future generation of thinkers, innovators and problem solvers that our country need.

Furthermore, he said science has the potential to stimulate critical thinking by teaching students to analyse evidence, evaluate information and draw logical conclusions.

He said his ministry, in its current reform is planning to strengthening the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematic or STEM Education in schools.

“My ministry is making the preparatory work to design and strengthen STEM education in schools throughout the country.

“STEM Education, as you are aware, he stated, emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach that fosters problem-solving and critical thinking.

“Integrating STEM into the Solomon Islands school curriculum and teaching and learning has the advantage of equipping students with practical skills and preparing them for future careers in a technology-driven world.

“Not only that, but STEM Education also encourages collaboration, creativity, and adaptability, essential attributes for success in the modern workforce and, therefore, my ministry would like to support science teachers so that they receive the professional support they need,” he said.

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