Suva, 7February 2020 – Five-year-old children in the Solomon Islands will now have the opportunity to go to school. As part of compulsory basic education, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, with the support of UNICEF, the Government of New Zealand and the Government of Australia, has created a high-quality Pre-Primary Year for all children before they start primary school.
Following the launch of the Pre-Primary Year in Honiara today, during celebrations of the International Education Day, more than 200 students and teachers joined government officials and partners to celebrate the importance of education for all Solomon Islanders with the theme ‘Learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace.’
In the Solomon Islands, almost 20,000 five-year-olds will now have access to early learning with the introduction of the Pre-Primary Year.
“Over the past few years, we have committed to improve Early Childhood Education and this year, we have achieved a major milestone with the introduction of a Pre-Primary Year level that comes with a new curriculum for five-year olds,” said Dr. Franco Rodie, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Solomon Islands, at the event.
“I am proud to say that this Pre-Primary Year has already been piloted and rolled out across nine provinces, with over 1000 early childhood education teachers trained,” he added.
The Pre-Primary Year curriculum is crafted to prepare children for primary school by supporting learning and development in all areas including social and emotional development, science, language and literacy, mathematics, physical development and health, and social studies. The curriculum uses new interactive learning and teaching approaches including a focus on play and discovery.
“We are proud to be working closely with the Government of Solomon Islands to ensure that every child has the chance to go to school. UNICEF is committed to making sure every child has access to a quality education, no matter where they live. Quality pre-primary education sets children up for the rest of their lives and helps children succeed in school, ” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative.
Research shows that children enrolled in at least one year of quality early childhood education are more likely to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in school, less likely to repeat grades or drop out of school, and are more able to contribute to peaceful and prosperous societies and economies when they reach adulthood.
Children are more than twice as likely to be on track in mastering early literacy and numeracy skills and achieving higher results later in primary school than children missing out on quality early learning.
Notes to Editors:
MEHRD, Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, has a vision that all Solomon Islanders will develop as individuals and possess knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to earn a living and to live in harmony with others and their environment. MEHRD envisages a united and progressive society in which all can live in peace and harmony with fair and equitable opportunities for a better life. MEHRD envisions an education and training system responsive to its clients and efficiently managed by its stakeholders and clients. MEHRD wishes to deliver quality education for everyone in the Solomon Islands.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
Unity Iko, Solomon Islands Ministry of
Education and Human Resource Development, Tel: +677 7586340
Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific, Tel: +679 7157586, [email protected]