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Solomon Islands’ EDU CATIO N Solomon Islands is one of the most underdeveloped countries in South Pacific. I found that the best intervention for an overall improvement to the country would be to start with their education.


by Erica Kim

The SolomonSolomon Islands Islands Understanding


# of Islands: 922 islands Population: 581, 318

Understanding Solomon Islands

1942 1945

WWII Battle of Guadalcanal



Independence from Britian

1998 2003 2006

Civil war of lawlessness Int. peacekeeper from Australia restored order Snyder Rini became prime minister

$256 million

$237 million




food plant equipment manufactured fuels chemicals


fish timber palm oil cocoa

Islands’ governments is More than 75% of the Islands’ characterized by weak labor force is engaged in political parties and unstable parliamentary coalitions.

Arable land: Permanent crops: Other:

0.62% 2.04% 97.34%

Land is rich in lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Total renewable water resources: 44.7 cu km

The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of its livelihood.

Birth rate: 28.48 births/ 1,000 population 1990


Under-5 Total fertility rate: mortality 3.65 children born rate /woman (2008 est)

Primary School

24 / 1

60,496 students 2,514 teachers

Education expenditures: 2.2% of GD Some kids do not attend school due to lack of food for lunch. Only 60% of school-age children have access to primary education

Employment / population

2006 2006 1990 1991


73/ 1000


121/ 1000


diphtheria pertussis, whooping cough turberculosis polio measles

Full-time employment is rare It is common for one waged person to support upwards of 15 extended family members


Causes of death

95% Christian 5% maintains traditional beliefss

65.7 65.7 65.8 65.8

Maternal mortality ratio 2006 1990 2006





British control

Deforestation; soil erosion; coral reefs are dead or dying Taro, the staple root crop is dying off due to the due to salinity of the swamps caused by erosion

Limited opportunities for young people result in substance abuse teenage pregnancy; criminal activitie; and sexual exploitation leading to exposure to HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases.

Male dominent society, though d women inherit lineage and land



8.0 earthquake

70% of the population is under 24 years of age.



Explored by Alvaro de Mendana(Spain) Colonized by Great Briten & Germany

2007 earthquake : 52 died, more than 900 homes destroyed thousands of people homeless



Agriculture products cocoa beans coconuts palm kernel rice potatoes vegetable 20% fruit 20% timber Service Service cattle 5% pigs Industry fish 75%

$1 USD = $7.34 SBD (2006)

It is estimated that accessible timber resources may be exhausted by about 2010 if present levels of logging continue.



First inhabitant of human

GDP growth rate: -2.3% (2009)

. 22.7% percent of population living below the national poverty line



2000 B.C.



Queen Eliziabeth II Monarch of Solomon Islands

Currently, logging is the the main income stream


The head of government is lead by the Prime Minister The Islands have a constitutional monarchy and a parliament government. Queen Elizabeth II is the Monarch of the Solomon Islands and the head of state; she is represented by the Governor-General.





550/ 1000 130/ 1000

Population: 559,198 (2010 est.) Growth rate: 2.27% (2010 est.) Only 13% live in urban areas 70 different language groups Adult Literacy 40% illiterate

60 % literate

Healthy life expectancy at birth is at 60 years.

Problems: Education as a Solution CURRENT PROBLEM: Environment “Actual logging rates are 700,000 cubic meter per year...The government, however, has issued logging licenses for 4,000,000 cubic meters per year...such an elevated logging rate (12 times the sustainable rate) could deplete the Solomon Island’s forests in only three years” Neal Lineback, Geography in the News

EDUCATION AS A SOLUTION: Educating the public and the policy makers about the long-term environmental impacts of logging, is the first step in saving the natural resource of which all Islanders’ lives depend on. CURRENT PROBLEM: Health “Solomon Islands has reached a moment in history that it is experiencing a double burden of disease, with the huge increase of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.” Jermey Inifiri, Solomon Star Daily Newspaper

EDUCATION AS A SOLUTION: There is a need for education on the various prevention methods for HIV/ AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis as well as non-contractile diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases, cancer and diabetes.


CURRENT PROBLEM: Farming and Erosion “We are trying to address food security, which can affect the growth and health of our people. Our people need to eat a balanced diet and nutritional food, but with effects of rising sea level, food crops like taro in Ontong Java are dying. The coastal people depending on swamp taro and local ferns are losing their source of food due to the salinity of the swamp,” - Casper Supa, Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (Pacc) EDUCATION AS A SOLUTION: Educating farmers on different systems of irrigation can improve crop productivity. Educating farmers on where soil erosion will continue its pattern will give farmers more chances.

Education is the key resource in resolving the problems Solomon Islanders face today.

Brainstorming Sustainable Education Inspiration: Sustainable leadership through Education

Patric Awauh was a TED speaker who started a liberal art college in Ghana where students

are able to understand, analyze and problem solve the situations they and their country are surrounded with. Awauh believes the only way to save Africa from its current state of corruption, weak institution and misplaced leadership is through educating its youth. He calls for a renaissance in Africa by changing its current education of recitation to focusing on topics of ethics, critical thinking and installing a sense of entitlement in his students.

Brainstorming: Issues around Education teachers not showing up to class es structure school educated teachers system short # of qualified teachers facility non-proper learning environment: standerization materials: - over crowded classrooms 60:1 teaching resource, - students lose interest and drop out text books lack of teaching materials, guide, text books transportation Need school supplies: Problems paper, pen, chalk board, chalk, exercise books, books, maps, charts



My objectives

Solomon Island & Education

For schools to operate place for people to gather sustainable education qualified instructor (not relying constantly for other country’s help) student creating leaders: materials ability to think, independent, strong, creative

Basic education:

-Math: # -English: language, communication -History: understanding the social change -Science: the logic and fact of nature

What does kids want? creative & fun play & learn

Thoughts Lack of money, structure, and resources are all problems of Solomon Islands’ Education. Even though these long term problems are currently being worked out by the Board of Educations and global organization such as UNESCO, the immediate need of students still exists. Students will continue to go to school everyday unaware of their potential to improve their country from the curriculum they are being taught. Inspired by Patric Awauh, I want to provide something for the children of today to fuel the leaders of tomorrow.

Importance of Active Learning Research clearly shows a person must be engaged to learn.

People learn by actively participating in observing, speaking, writing, listening, thinking, drawing, and doing. - Learning is enhanced when a person sees potential implications, applications, and benefits to others. - Learning builds on current understanding (including misconceptions!). ©2005 On-line Course Design Tutorial developed by Dr. Barbara J. Tewksbury (Hamilton College) and Dr. R. Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary) as part of the program On the Cutting Edge, funded by NSF grant.

Types of Active Learning: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking, Watching,


Drawing, Making, Touching, Role Playing, Exploring, Researching, Interviewing, Teaching

Many of these activities are not feasible in an underdeveloped country. What can children in Solomon Island do to learn from their environment?

Example Activities: Name Beneficial skills

PenPal Writing, communication, gaining cultural insight Journal Writing, reflecting, thinking and expressing News Scrapping Reading, awareness of current events Show & Tell Speaking, describing, reasoning, self expression Research/ Report Reading, writing, questioning, uncover information, teaching Discussion/Debate Critical thinking,

I hear and I forgot I see and I remember I do and I understand -Confucius

Learning from different environment:


Museum Visit Zoo Visit Camping

Seeing (object’s size, shape and color), touching, hearing, reading Seeing (animal’s size, shape and color skin texture), hearing their sound, recording their habitat Understanding nature through the senses, learning to live with less, being in unfamiliar places

I’ve asked adults to recall on their elementary grade memory. As some doctors emphasize the importance of active learning, these adults also remember the majority of their favorite activities in school being physical. Erica


- Shy but wanted to play with other children. - wrote a a everyday. - studied the growth of plants. - participated in school bazaar, bought things on her own. - made many art posters. - historic museum visits.



- being quiet in hallway, going to class on time, doing homework, getting ready for next activity. - aware of other people in class: who’s funny, who is smart, categorize them - jumproaping - praying for no pop quiz - had class cook day



International School in India

- shy - show and tell circle - math - studied wild animals - made posters and hung it on the wall - did home country project: drew things of daily life of her home culture (food, money, custom, costume). - around the world project: memorized



visiting museums in small group posting report on the wall collecting recycled papers finding articles on a news paper writing diary camping

Concept: “Connecting the dots” As a result of foreign colonization, civil wars, weak political parties, and natural disasters, Solomon Islands’ history has been continually unstable. With the labeled as a “developing country”, the Islands have been receiving aid from the generosities of the world. It has become apparent that if Solomon Islanders want to save their culture, natural resources, and future, they will need to become their own leaders to change to current system. I believe educating the children of Solomon Islands is the most important asset to bringing these changes. But it is upon how these children are educated that will decide the reality of the Islands’ future. Sixty percent of children don’t have access to a primary education while the majority of the population graduates into a life of farming and agriculture, leaving their school lessons unused. Reading and writing will always be essential, but education must be tailored to the lives of the people in order to serve them well. A more sustainable and pertinent education must implemented if the children of Solomon Islands are to succeed.


My concept is to provide an instructional guide to teach the children of Solomon Islands the different systems that exist on their land through actively engaging with the people and places in their community. They will then come back to the classroom to share and “Connect the dots” of their findings. This exercise in understanding the pieces and analyzing the bigger picture, is necessary in solving the problems of the reality that they will inherit. By providing the instructions to becoming a researcher of a marketplace or logging facility, children will learn the importance to the relationships that exist in any given system. For example, students may enquire about the journey of a banana and how a farmer grows, harvests, and sells the crop. The guide will then lead them pursue this process in relation to larger ideas these crops are connected to, such as the environmental consequences , trade economy, politics in agriculture, or social concerns in the village. As a result, students will become familiar early on in thinking critically about the complex problems that surrounds their future and making connections about how their community operates. It has become increasingly important for the children of Solomon Island to understand these systems early on, as the average age of employment starts at age 15.

Connecting the Dots: Introductory Exercises For the main project to be most effective, students needs to have some experience in interviewing, documenting, presenting and making connections. The following are exercise projects where students would practice these skills . The projects also teach about the basic cycles in their environment, which is essential to know when making connections throughout the community. Learning the WATER CYCLE Knowledge about the fresh water cycle, how it naturally circulates, how it is stored and accessed, will allow students be aware of the importance, as well as the complexity of water as a resource. Skills practiced: Learning the PLANT CYCLE Plants provide the essentials for human survival: food, shelter, and clothes. It is important to know how plants are grown, harvested, used, and discarded. Knowing its life cycle brings an understanding to its ability and the limits of use.


Skills practiced:









Creating a FAMILY TREE Asking family members how they and their relatives are connected to each other will help children understand their own position and the connections that exist in their family. Creating a family tree will visualize this larger view.


Skills practiced:

Using these essential skills, students are actively interacting with their assigned subjects, rather than relying on the availability of textbooks. INTERVIEWING SKILL

Be clear on what you are asking and listen carefully to question the answers. Always emphasis what your intent is.


Record key ideas. Write quotes from the interviewee. Draw symbols and pictures as place holders to organize and expand your thoughts later.


Understand how informations relates to each other. Start to form a hierarchy of importance.


Present the information clearly. Emphasis lessons learned, how you can further investigate, and why.

Connecting the Dots: Example Project After the preliminary exercises, students will put their practiced skills to the test. In this example project, a market place is used as the setting to understand the product a student picks to research. They begin by interviewing the seller’s knowledge of the product and all the processes that surround it. After recording the conversation students create a poster and present their findings to the class.

Market Visit

Look around the market to find a product that interests you.


Example project: Research of Banana

Interview the Seller

- Introduce yourself, your project, and what you are looking for. - Question the seller’s process with the product: when, why, and how the product is selling.

In this example project, the life of a banana is defined in detail. From an understanding of its species, components, appearance, smell, taste, and texture, to where the banana came from, how it got to the market, who its used by, how it is used, its benefit and limits. A knowledge of the product’s full life cycle and all its effects will educate students to the larger system behind every product.

Ask about the product

- Describe the product. - How is it made? - Where is it from? - # of hands it went through? - Who uses them, and how? - What’s its life period? - Does it produce waste? - Ask for suggestions on how to investigate further.

Poster making

- Draw the object - Include the findings from the interview -Include locations visited -Make sure to tell the full story and highlight any connections you’ve found

Describe the object (name, type, shape, size, color, smell, taste, texture, parts) How is it made? Banana (Musca Species): Fruit, long, Comes from a banana plant slight curve, 12 cm, green yellow, How is it used? Banana plant takes 9 months tastes sweet, texture is slimy, sticky, cooking: bread, to produce banana Where is it from? fibrous, and it has two parts dish, pastries, (Local/ imported, snack nature/man-made) Local: Makia Island, User Solomon Islands people and animals -farmers What is by-product of this? How many hands -crafts persons and how are they used? did it go thought? -cooks Flower- eaten (how did he/she got it?) Trunk- also can be eaten or None, the seller is the turned into paper or yarn. farmer Leaves- made into basket or containers. Peel- polishes shoes and leather, whittens teeth.


- Share the finding to the class. -Suggest what connections this product has to the community, how important it is, and how it could be improved.

Life period/limit/benefit Life period: 7-10days in room temperature limits: it turns brown quickly if it gets bumped benefit: high is nutrition (vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium) What is excess of this product? Peel or none

Connecting the Dots: Class Discussion CLASS DISCUSSION

It is important for students to understand both their research and how it relates to a larger picture. After the students present, the class analyzes the information. The idea is to use the research and connect the product to all its stories--mapping its footprints starting from the market, to the village, its governing industry, the economy, and all the way to its ecology. In this section a teacher’s role is crucial in guiding the class to discuss the larger concepts and the problems that arise with every connection made.











A good way to explain how every students’ project are interconnected, is to map out their findings according to location. In this way, students will be able to make educated conclusions as to the source of a product’s problem and where to best affect it.

CONCLUSION Throughout this curriculum, students confront their reality and discover at an early age the problems of their islands. In this way, children have the necessary information to think critically and feel comfortable in solving the problems they will face as they get older. I believe this type of education is the necessary first step in improving the future of Solomon Islands for its people.

Solomon Islands' Education  

Method to improve Solomon Islands' future