Education in Solomon Islands

Joined Commonwealth: 1978

Population: 523,000 (2009)

GDP p.c. growth: -1.3%

UN HDI 2010: world ranking 123

Net primary enrolment: 80.6% (2007)

Net secondary enrolment: 30.2% (2008)

There are six years of primary education and seven years of secondary. The gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined was 54.0% in 2008 with a primary female-mate ratio of 0.97:1 and secondary female-male ratio of 0.84:1 (2007). The school year starts in January.

Solomon Islands College of Higher Education offers teacher-training, finance, nursing and secretarial studies, and a range of technical subjects related to Solomon Islands’ economy such as marine and fisheries studies, forestry and agriculture. The college also gives some first-year university courses. Solomon Islands is a partner in the regional University of the South Pacific, which has its main campus in Suva, Fiji Islands, and a campus in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The years of conflict during the early 2000s severely damaged and depleted the education system. In many parts of the country there was little or no access to educational facilities, as some schools were forced to contract or close. Following the restoration of order in 2003, the government set about rehabilitating and reforming the country’s education system. With assistance from the governments of Australia and New Zealand, the government has been able to rehabilitate infrastructure, re-establish in-service training and provide teaching materials to primary schools.