The much-anticipated Education Bill 2023 was passed in Parliament without amendments on Thursday 12th October.
The Bill passed becomes an Act after the Governor General assents it. The Act will cater for the administration and regulation of Early Childhood, Primary, and Secondary Education, including registration of teachers, education providers, schools, and early childhood education centres. The Act also provides provisions to repeal the Education Act 1978 (Cap. 69) and for related purposes.
This is a historical achievement for the MEHRD which commenced the Education Bill project in 2014 with the review and wider-country consultations on the Education Act 1978. The drafting of the Education Bill was guided by the Education White Paper which was passed by Parliament in August 2015. The Education White paper provided the drafting policy on what should be contained in the new Education Act 2023.
The new Act will effectively address gaps in the existing education system as well as provide for a better delivery of education services at the ECE, Primary and Secondary levels of education through schools to all Solomon Islanders.
Further, the new Act provides for clearer lines of communication for better collaborative work and coordination between MEHRD and all education stakeholders including education providers, schools, teachers, leaders and school communities.
The new Education Act is cognizant of the expanding education system and is designed to be robust and flexible to respond to current and future needs and aspirations.
The Governor General will assent to the new Education Act with his signature and the date in the name of His Majesty and becomes an Act after the Governor-General’s Royal Assent is received by the Clerk to Parliament.
The Minister for Education Hon Lanelle Tanangada is expected to determine the Commencement Date of the new Education Act 2023 as soon as the Ministry receives a copy of the Royal Assent.