Education in Gela Ilau, Central Province, Solomon Islands has received a boost through the newly built girls dormitory and girl’s ablution block worth SBD 2.3-million.
The project was in partnership with Governments of Solomon Islands and New Zealand through the Solomon Islands Education Sector Support Program (ESSP).
The school has been operating since 2006 and educates Prep-Year 9 (From 3) children from Gela Ilau and surrounding communities.
The new two-storey dormitory will house up to 60 female students, while the ablution block provides wash facilities including a place for girls to do their laundry.
“Mi hapi tumas bicos olketa girls ba stei gud bicos oketa garem big dormitory and ablution wetem tank. Tank ia save catchem rainwater and ba hem helpm mifala girls tumas,” said Doreen Tiva, Form 3 student and Head Girl at Gela Ilau CHS, from Koilovala village in Central Province.
[English translation: I am very happy because girls have a good place to stay now with the big dormitory, ablution block and tank. The tank can catch rainwater which will help us a lot.]
The buildings are equipped with rainwater catchments, allowing for safe access to water for drinking and other needs for all teachers, staff, and students at the school.
Honourable Anthony Veke, Supervising Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, His Excellency Mr Jonathan Schwass, New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, and Ms Sally-Anne Vincent, Acting Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, attended the official handover of the new infrastructure at the handover ceremony in Gela Ilau.
ESSP is a partnership between the governments of Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand which aims to improve access to quality basic education for all children in Solomon Islands. Increasing access to education through improved school infrastructure, especially for rural communities, is a priority for ESSP partners.
Source: Press Release, Australian High Commssioner, Honiara