Non-government organisations (NGOs) who are working to strengthen community support for children’s learning, and improve the quality of early childhood education in Solomon Islands, shared their programs’ successes during a ‘Tok Stori’ session hosted by the Education Sector Support Program (ESSP) in Honiara on Tuesday 5th July 2022.
This Tok Stori initiative is the first in a series of six-monthly learning events for ESSP NGO grantees, which aims to provide a platform for NGOs, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) and other stakeholders to promote and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and learn about innovative approaches that can contribute to sustainable change in the education sector.
Presentations shared during this event highlighted the work of three beneficiaries of the first ESSP NGO Grants Round in 2021: Save The Children’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Digital Library work with early childhood education networks in Western and Choiseul Provinces; vernacular curriculum development by the Coalition for Education Solomon Islands (COESI) in Burnscreek and Kwaio, Malaita; and World Vision Solomon Islands’ use of the Learning Roots Methodology in Makira.
During the Tok Stori event, MEHRD together with the Governments of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand were also pleased to announce the two successful applicants from the second round of the ESSP NGO Grants 2022:
- World Vision Solomon Islands (WVSI); and
- Australian Catholic University Ltd (ACU).
WVSI’s grant was awarded for their ‘Pikinini Rural Inclusion, Care and Education (PRICE)’ project which will work with schools, villages, government agencies and civil society to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children in Temotu Province.
“The PRICE project is a great opportunity to work hand in hand with communities in Temotu to improve understanding of child protection, disability and gender inclusion, and support school and community leaders to create safe educational environments,” said Jimmy Nadapdap, WVSI’s National Director.
The second successful grantee is ACU Ltd project called ‘Iumi Tugeda Helpem Solomon Islands Def Comiuniti: Inclusive Education Solomon Islands’. This project is a partnership with the Catholic Education Office, the Archdiocese of Honiara, the San Isidro Care Centre, to increase the number of sign language teachers and to increase participation opportunities for deaf children in the Solomon Islands.
“ACU has a 13-year history of working with Catholic schools in Honiara and we are very excited to be growing our partnership in this area of inclusive education for deaf people. We see this project as a contribution to providing increased opportunities to those who otherwise experience much isolation, particularly in regard to education and employment. We hope that we can improve participation opportunities for deaf people in Solomon Islands and thus enhance quality of life for them and their families,” said Associate Professor, Mellita Jones of ACU.
The total funding support of SBD 6 million will be provided to implement these projects until June 2023. MEHRD, with ESSP support, will work closely with the NGOs to implement initiatives in order to reach the most disadvantaged Solomon Islands’ communities.
ESSP is a partnership between the governments of the Solomon Islands, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to improve the quality of basic education accessible to all children in the Solomon Islands.