On 17th – 21st September 2020, The Coalition for Education Solomon Islands (COESI) conducted a survey on the topic ‘Can Homeschooling work in Solomon Islands? ’The study was taken in three particular provinces: Malaita, Guadalcanal and Honiara with total of 16 schools were part of the survey. Malaita with 4 schools, Guadalcanal with 5 schools and Honiara with 7 schools.
COESI research team consists of three teams that were conducted the survey. One group for Malaita, Guadalcanal and Honiara. Here is the experience of Busurata School from the school Principal Annette Babana.
Busurata is one of the four schools in Malaita the study was conducted. It located further in Land, 15 kilometer and you can travel 1hour from Auki town to reach the school by vehicle. The school consists of ECE, primary and secondary sector and the secondary sector reaches form 5.
In our interview with the school principal, Annette Babana expressed. Our school we continue with our normal classes after schools were called to resume classes, as the directives from the Ministry of Education. The challenge we faced now the practice of hand washing at school. The school did not have access to water supply for students to do regular hand washing and even proper sanitation. So the practice that school adopted to ensure students do hand washing, each individual students and teachers were asked to bring their own bottle /bamboo of water for hand washing.
Annette said the strategy was working. But she did not know how long and sustainable this practice of carrying water every day for hand washing could work. Because some students were travel far distance, they climbed mountains and walk through valleys on bush road. It’s another burden for them when they try their best to attend classes.
She said other schools might face similar issue. Improving school infrastructure and resources for teaching and learning of our children is vital for students to learn properly in the classroom. Therefore, Annette called on community, government and donor partners to assist schools through their support to improve sanitation, access to water and classrooms.