22 May 2020
An investment in online education in the Solomon Islands by development partners could help shape the future of the strategically placed nation.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic schools around the world closed their doors, including in the Solomon Islands, leaving billions of children across nations sitting at home.
Outside the Solomon Islands, especially in India, the demand for online learning has been exceptional and the trend is still growing.
Some educational institutions have started online courses, and some education technology startups are temporarily offering free classes to help overcome the impact of school closures.
In the Pacific the University of the South Pacific (USP) is a leader in online courses.
Australian education is world-leading and available online. The courses are backed by the Australian government and by many Australian Universities.
While broadband internet services may not yet be fully operative and accessible in the Solomon Islands, I venture to suggest it would be worthwhile Australia, New Zealand and perhaps Japan, as leading donor partners, looking into ways as to how online education could be provided in schools.
Naturally, there would need to be investment in equipment and communications links and online courses suitable for Solomon Islands students at the various levels.
Following the end of COVID-19 many aspects of life, work, and education are expected to change with technology leading the way.
The education of Solomon Islands children is important for their future, the country’s future and should be seen by outside players in providing for the longer term stability and prosperity of the Solomon Islands a country with an important strategic position in the Pacific.