Home Education PS Rodie highlights MEHRD direction to support early learners using language

PS Rodie highlights MEHRD direction to support early learners using language

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Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) Dr Franco Rodie has highlighted the ministry’s direction to support early learners using language as medium of instruction.

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In his address to mark the International Mother Language Day, on Wednesday 22 February, Dr Rodie highlighted MEHRD’s contribution to the implementation of the multilingual education, in terms of the legislative framework. He mentioned that the new Education Act 2023 Section 65(1) which has been gazetted provides provision for language instructions.

The provision provides for local vernacular, pidjin, English or sign language to be used individually or in combination to facilitate learning according to the needs of the students.

The Education Regulation 2024 specifies that the medium of instruction used to teach ECE to Year 3 primary school pupils is the mother tongue, Pijin and sign language. And Year 4 primary education as the year level from which English language is to be introduced. He stated that the principal language of instruction used in Year 7 to Year 12 is English.

Moreover, he said that MEHRD in its commitment in compliance to the Act have piloted projects that have been developed and implemented in Arosi on Makira and Saá on Small Malaita.

The pilot projects were intended to inform the anticipated expansion of the use of vernacular language instruction in Solomon Islands schools, with lessons learned from the pilot being used to ensure the success of later initiatives.

He said it was interesting to note from the report conducted in 2019 that early learners can read quickly and learn quickly.

The report found that the use of vernacular languages in instruction and learning leads to positive learning outcomes for learners and that MEHRD has a role in guiding Education Providers and teacher training providers in the provision of language programmes that are integrated with existing programs in curriculum development, teacher professional development and community-based initiatives.

PS Rodie also highlights the direction the ministry is undertaking in promoting mother languages.

He said language is our identity that shapes our past, our future, our culture, our environment, our existence, expression and interactions.

Unfortunately, some mother languages are on the brink of extinction and it is critical we preserve it.

He said the ministry in promoting mother languages provide legislative framework to implement the language instruction.

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