Caretaker Minister of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) Hon, Lanelle Olandrea Tanangada re-emphasised the international call to prioritise education as a tool for promoting societies, which value human dignity, peace, knowledge acquisition and development.
She re-emphasised this when marking the International Education Day at Honiara Senior Secondary School on Friday 26th, January 2024.
She said Solomon Islands as a country continues to build peace initiatives with the Ministry of Peace and Traditional Governance and Ecclesiastical Affairs (MPTGEA) in close collaboration with Government Ministries including the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), which had initiated an integration of peace education curriculum schools.
She said MEHRD together with MPTGEA are currently working together with relevant stakeholders, faith-based organisations, education providers and schools on the peace education curriculum in the country which is captured in the NEAP 2022-2026.
She informed the gathering who attended the event that it is paramount that peace education is mainstreamed nationwide and the strategies are to:
The caretaker Minister assured that MEHRD is committed in the new education reform (Education Act 2023) that highlights the important role education plays in protecting a child from any causes of harm whether physical or psychological by potential child molesters in the country.
“My Ministry will ensure that all students are provided with safe and inclusive learning environment where their rights and responsibilities are recognised and respected.
“The MEHRD will ensure students are treated fairly regardless of their gender, sexuality, health, disability, religion, race or ethnicity. In addition, we must ensure that school learning environment is inclusive in terms of meeting special needs children through infrastructure and learning program and materials,” the Caretaker Minister said.
Furthermore, MEHRD will ensure to provide students with the educational, social and emotional support required to fully engage them in their learning. Therefore, meeting individual needs through counselling services, teachers’ individualised planning, and specialised programs for special needs are crucial to address such special needs children.
She also assured MEHRD’s commitment to the new education reform. The Education Act 2023 in Part 2 (C) stated that early childhood, primary, secondary education should promote culture, customs, values and attitudes that foster societal harmony and positive outcome and Part 2 (1) alludes that education create tolerant, responsible, caring and politically aware citizens who understand their rights and responsibilities.
This is further stipulated in Administrative Instructions, which highlight the crucial role education plays in protecting a child from any form of harm, be it physical or psychological, occurring within or outside the Solomon Islands.
MEHRD will ensure all students are provided with a safe and inclusive learning environment where their rights and responsibilities are recognized and respected.
“MEHRD is committed to treating students fairly, regardless of their gender, sexuality, health, disability, religion, race, or ethnicity,” she said.
Reflecting on the theme “Learning for Lasting Peace” Hon. Tanangada said we must recognise the role of education to nation building and development or the role of Education for peace and development.
“We need a collective effort from parents and guardians, the government, teachers and leaders, families and communities and education providers etc… to engage our children and youth in every learning opportunity so that they are fully engaged, become meaningful citizens and promote peaceful co-existent and harmony wherever they live and serve,” she said.
The highlight of the celebration was the tok-stori on the theme “Learning for lasting Peace” from students and teachers of Honiara Senior Secondary school, White River Community High School, King Georger VI National Secondary School and the outgoing director of peace of MPTGEA, Charles Kafa.
Adding more highlights to the celebration was education awareness from MEHRD education partners, the University of the South Pacific Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands National University, World Vision Solomon Islands and Save the Children.
Caretaker Minister acknowledged the education development partners and key stakeholders for participating, sharing awareness and advocating for accessible and transformative education for all that paves a way for a more equitable and peaceful future for generations to come. ENDS////