The Malaita Youth Council President, Phillip Subu, has called on government, partners and stakeholders to support the new school dropouts.
Data released by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources at the release of the school results last week and published on SBMOnline shows that only 9,301 have been placed to continue their studies this year whilst 11, 315 were unsuccessful or being unplaced.
In reaction to the data, Subu said: “I would like to call on the Solomon Islands Government (SIG), the Respective (9) Provincial Governments, the development partners of SIG, stakeholders including education institutions, business houses and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the Country to support and create opportunity for more than 10,000 youths in the country that are drop out from country’s formal education system that are now regarded as unplaced students.”
He said more than 10,000 students are equivalent to about two (2) percent of country’s total population, therefore, Solomon Islands as a nation cannot afford to support and create a support system to ensure these youths are supported to become citizens that this country would depend on in the near future.
“Each year, similar number of youths are pushed out of country’s education system, and I am really scared if nothing has been done to ensure these youths are becoming productive.
“I strongly believe that if Solomon Islands is doing very little to engage and manage our youths, this growing population will become a risk to the country. We have witness in number of recent social unrest or riots in Honiara that most people who involved are within the range of youth category. I believe this has happened because these youths have failed to acquire moral values from our schools, communities, and institutions within the country. We need to create a system that will enable our youths are socially accountable so that it guides the conduct and behaviours.”
Subu, who is also the Mala-I-Tolo, Program Manager, added: “I would recommend that we teach our youths the religious, and cultural values to support our youths and citizens. Today, anti-social behaviours is rise in urban areas and even in some villages in the country. Most of these are cause by youths that are drop out from schools that are not engaged and support. I believe next year we will also have similar number that will be added to the category of youths. Thus, youth system should design in a way that, this is reduce.”
He is urgently calling on the government to focus on job and opportunity creation to proportionate with the current population growth.
“At this stage, we did not know how much employment has been created each year. I wish it is at least 5,000 or more so that it balances with the current trend where more than 10,000 are drop out from school and thousands of Solomon Islanders are graduate from Universities, RTC and technical college,”said Subu.
“I call on the youths that are unplaced to think positive and seek opportunities for education and personal growth to become a citizen that society and nation would rely on because they have something to contribute to the nation. Don’t see your unplacement in school as a failure, but as a challenge that you need to work hard, and there is a challenge that is exist ahead of you,” the youth leader, said.
He urged the young people who were unsuccessful in their studies to seek second chance education at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), the University of South Pacific (USP), other regional University in the country, and many vocational schools and colleges in the country for their education.
“If you have any opportunities, please make use of the chances. Also, I would like to call on youths to seek assistance from training institution and friends on how to start your education in these new academic and training institutions and colleges. Again, I would like to call on Solomon Islands Government (SIG), the Respective (9) Provincial Governments, the development partners of SIG, stakeholders including education institutions, business houses and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to have a vision and heart for the Youth of Solomon Islands.”