Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands Provide New Infrastructure for Another Rural CHS Manawai Community High School (CHS) students in East Are’Are, Malaita Province have received new infrastructure including three classrooms and two storage rooms valued at SDB1,195,592.44 from the governments of Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand through the Solomon Islands Education Sector Support Program (ESSP).
The new education infrastructure was handed over during the official joint handover and 2022 school graduation ceremony in Manawai, Malaita Province on 30 November 2022. Principal Micah Sonny received the keys for the new building on behalf of Manawai CHS from ESSP Solomon Islands government representatives Hon. Peter Kenilorea Junior, MP for East Are’Are constituency and Linda Wate, Deputy Secretary, Teaching and Learning for the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), Australian government representative Mika Kontiainen, Counsellor, Human Development for the Australian High Commission, and New Zealand government representative Olivia Benton-Guy, Second Secretary, Development for the New Zealand High Commission.
The new infrastructure includes one building for three classrooms and two storage rooms for safely storing school resources. The building includes catchments for rainwater collection and a water tank that will enable safe access to water for consumption and other water, sanitation and hygiene purposes for all staff and students at the school. Speaking to the Manawai community at the ceremony, Hon. Peter Kenilorea Junior said that “this classroom will benefit the children of today and tomorrow, thank you for working together in the spirit of unity to bring forward this building, and for valuing education for our children.”
Manawai CHS classrooms will serve 215 Prep-Year 9 students, improving the access to quality education for children in Manawai and surrounding communities. 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 SBD385 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.