FRIDAY 15TH JULY 2016
Members of the Education and Human Resources Training Committee were amongst the more than 400 participants at the Vaka Pasifiki Education Conference from the 5th to 6th July 2016 at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Kukum Campus.
The presences of the EHRTC members at the Conference, gives the Committee an opportunity to rapport amongst “ordinary people with extra ordinary dreams” and be able to feel the vibrating currents of educational directions that our people are aspiring for.
It is important for the Committee to be aware of such educational issues and be able to employ their mandate well, and hopefully will support educational policies that is responsive to the educational hopes of Solomon Islands.
Vaka Pasifikiis an educational movement supported by “ordinary people with extra-ordinary dreams”
It is the initial name for the emerging Indigenous Pacific Research School of Thought, at the School of Education, USP.
The educational aspirations of the Pacific and Solomon Islands per say; is uncharted still. Thus it requires a clear collective visioning of the pacific people alone, to define and navigate the destination of their educational endeavors.
Based on the theme Education for What? Revisited, participants discussed along the chic titles of what we should “Stop Doing, Keep Doing and Start Doing” within our educational system; through a collective reflection, re-imaging and reaffirming their dedication to serve the children in the pacific region for a better tomorrow.
TUESDAY 12 JULY 2016
Members of the Young Women’s Parliamentary Group Communications Team were given a two days Introduction to Media workshop at the Parliament’s Paul Tovua Complex, Vavaya Ridge on the 5th and 6th of July 2016.
The two days workshop is aimed at educating participants on what the media is and the different forms of news media that are used to disseminate information to the public.
The workshop covered print, online, radio and television news media, and how to produce content for each media.
It involved two field trips; one to Solomon Star Newspaper Office and the other to the Parliament Media Department, Radio and TV production studio.
It also featured a guest presentation by veteran Journalist, Mr. Julian Maka’a.
He has been working in the Solomon Islands Media Industry for 22 years with experiences beyond the Pacific Region.
After this training, the team is expected to produce and disseminate information on YWPG as a way of advocating the group’s gender programs and activities.
Not only that, but generally they are expected to write and produce news articles in other media forms they have learned.
In an interview, Director of Parliament Media, Ms Joy Angi, who is one of the facilitators at the training said, “I can assure you that I see potential in all participants to further develop your skills in this area.”
“You just need the right tools and the opportunity to do that especially in advocating for YWPG to fulfill its vision of influencing legislation and government policies,” she said.
Further to that she advised participants to keep up their knowledge on current gender issues. Not only that but she encouraged participants to also cover other areas in their reporting.
“Your knowledge on national issues, especially in the area of gender must be kept up to date since your job in YWPG now is to do public relations on YWPG programs and activities.”
The workshop was facilitated by the Director and the staff of the Parliament Media Department and organized by YWPG under the Parliamentary Civic Education Department, gender component.
The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group is a group established under the Civic Education Department, and is aimed at nurturing young women leaders, supported by young male counterparts to be active in influencing government policy and legislation.
Gino Oti, Ruth Amos and Christopher Baerii
TUESDAY 14TH JUNE 2016
Members of the Young Women Parliamentary Group (YWPG) are hoping to make an impact in their various work places and communities after a three days Transformational Leadership (TL) Seminar in Honiara from the 1st to the 3rd of June 2016.
The TL Seminar is organized by the National Parliament Civic Education Department Gender Component, facilitated and funded by UN Women.
In a statement to open the seminar, Clerk to National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Clezy Rore thanked UN Women for the technical and financial support towards gender and women related issues in the country
He said he is confident this will not be the last support given by UN Women to YWPG, instead, their assistance towards this three days training is a symbol of long term commitment of UN Women to maintain a cordial relationship with Solomon Islands Government, Provincial Government and the National Parliament of Solomon Islands.
“Gender Equality does not demand that men and women are equal but it is about fairness in access to opportunities by all men and women, boys and girls,” said Audrey Manu, National Programme Coordinator of UN Women's Advancing Gender Justice Programme.
Audrey is one of the main facilitators of the seminar.
Thus, the aim of the seminar which is to ensure these young women learn and understand transformational leadership, nurture and strengthen young women’s skills as transformational leaders to enhance gender equality and to inspire and motivate young women to participate on leadership roles.
Gender equality refers to the goal of achieving equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and boys and girls.
The young women were introduced to a lot of new knowledge and have made comments on how this seminar has opened their minds to realize that Transformational Leadership starts with the individual by, knowing oneself before reaching out to others in discharging responsibilities in a gender balance manner.
Topics covered in the seminar include: Gender which branch out to Gender Equality, Discrimination, Gender Relations, Gender Order, Gender Inequalities, Substantive Equality, the definition of transformational Leadership, and activities of self assessments to find out what kind of leaders they are, which really humble the young women.
The seminar went as far as presenting topics on Gender Responsive Governance. This included Governance and Good Governance where transparency and accountability were discussed, and the Universal conventions on human rights where women’s rights were question and discussed.
It further covered topics on Gender Responsive Policy and Practice, Gender Responsive Budgeting whereby leaders recognize gender issues in policy making both in the private and public sector, and that budget allocations do not overlook gender issues.
They said, they now feel confident and empowered to ensure as student leaders that gender is addressed at all levels in their schools.
Today these young women will be fully engaged in topics covering: effective communication and networking as concluding topics of the seminar.
These young women aspiring leaders will then look for ways to ensure, Bills that come before Parliament are gender checked before they are brought to Parliament. This is to ensure that gender needs are recognize in budgets and legislature before they are passed and enforced.
The Young Women’s’ Parliamentary Group (YWPG) is a group established under the gender component of the Parliamentary Civic Education Department, of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands.
It is established under the mission to create space for young women to experience and participate in leadership to fulfill its vision to:
YWPG was formed in 2011 under the support of the National Parliament, SIG and UNDP Parliamentary Strengthening Project and had organized successful seminars, workshops and conferences focused on women and politics in Solomon Islands.
THURSDAY 9TH JUNE 2016
The 4th meeting of the 10th Parliament ended successfully with a motion of Sine Die on Friday the 27th of May 2016.
At this meeting, Parliament passed six Bills. They are:
A number of motions and questions were also moved and asked in Parliament.
1. Motion No. 17 – Congratulatory Motion. The Prime Minister moved: “That the National Parliament on behalf of the people of Solomon Islands congratulates Her Excellency Dr Ing-Wen TSAI and His Excellency Dr Chien-jen Chen, on their election victories and their subsequent inaugurations as President and Vice President respectively of the Republic of China and that this Resolution be conveyed to their Excellences’ by the Speaker of the National Parliament through the Embassy of Republic of China in Honiara.”
2. Motion No. 16 – Consider White Paper on Election System. Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister moved: “That Parliament resolves itself into a Committee of the Whole House to consider National Parliament Paper No.15 of 2016, White Paper on Election System Which Could be Adopted in Solomon Islands.”
3. Motion No.15 – Motion of Appreciation
4. The other motions are motions of Special Adjournments
THURSDAY 9TH JUNE 2016
The Bill is an Act to appropriate an additional One Hundred and Fifty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Two Thousand, and Fourteen Dollars, to the service of the year ending 31st December 2016.
This supplementary appropriation is to supplement additional expenditure and expenditure already authorized by the Minister for Finance and Treasury under provisions in the 2016 Appropriation Act 2015 through contingencies warrants and advance warrants.
Advance warrants which includes estimates of the amount further required to 31 December 2016, totals to: $18,324,733
So the 2016 Supplementary Appropriation 2016 is: $156,902,014 for the service of the year ending 31st December 2016.
TUESDAY 24TH MAY 2016
Parliament has passed the 2015 Appropriation Bill 2016 on Monday the 23rd of May 2016.
The Bill is an Act to appropriate an additional Twenty Six Million, Four Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand and Fifteen Dollar, to the service of the year ending 31st December 2015.
It is to supplement expenditure incurred by the issue of contingencies warrants and advance warrants in 2015 to the following Government ministries.
Contingency warrants which totals to: $8,355,629
Advance warrants which totals to: $18,107,386
So the 2015 Supplementary Appropriation 2016 is: $26,463,015 for the year ending 31st December 2015.
The 2016 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2016 is next to be debated.
TUESDAY 17TH MAY 2016
The Parliamentary Education and Human Resources Training Committee (EHRTC) Chairman made a courtesy call on two tertiary institutions in Honiara on Wednesday the 11th of May 2016.
The two institutions are the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and the University of the South Pacific (USP), Honiara Campus.
Vice Chancellor of SINU, Dr. Glynn Galo welcomed the Parliamentary team, especially the Chairman of the EHRTC, Hon. Nestor Giro.
In his briefing, Hon, Giro conveyed to both tertiary institutions that purpose of the visit is to see what supporting these institutions are getting to provide educational here in the country.
The Committee Chairman also noted the challenges these institutions are facing. As part of the Committees mandate to make observations and investigation on matters of national education endeavor; this visit is part of the EHRTC Committees annual work plan and intention to produce a report to relevant stakeholders on these observations.
The Chairman highlighted that the Committee wishes to make tangible recommendations to the legislature on measures that can enhance their operations.
The Chairman acknowledged to both tertiary institutions that their issues are prevalent and is caused by many other factors besides socio-economical backgrounds of most of our students.
It was noted that providing local scholarships to students attending to both Institutions alone is not sufficient to substantiate their operations given the enrollment density each year.
Both Institution are enrolling 4000 plus student for this year alone and are expecting the numbers to increase in the years to come.
As such it is vital to the Committee to constructing such cordial relationship with our educational service providers can ensure that accountability and representation of the legislature is prudent.
At USP, Dr. Luke Mani; Supervising Acting Director of USP’s Honiara Campus welcomed the team and were showed around the campus.
The team accompanying the Chairman were; Marson Lilopeza (Director Committee Secretariat); Jasmine Waleafea (Committee Secretary – Secretary to EHRTC) and Joy Angi (Director Parliament Media).
WEDNESDAY 4 MAY 2016
Parliament is specially adjourned on Tuesday the 3rd of May 2016 to Tuesday the 17th of May 2016.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare moved a motion of special adjournment for the following reasons:
So far Parliament has passed 3 Bills. The Land Titles ( Amendment) Bill 2016, The Valuers ( Amendment ) Bill 2016, the Police and Transport Legislation ( Amendment )(Alcohol Testing) Bill 2016 and the Penal Code( Amendment)( Sexual Offences) Bill 2016.
The only two Bills remaining to deal with are the Anti Corruption Bill 2016 and the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill 2016.
These two Bills are delayed in Parliament due to pressure mounted on Government from members of Parliament not to support the Bills.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in a statement to clarify Government’s position on the two Bills said:
“Pressure is been mounted on our members of this side of the house – for us not to support these two Bills. Not only that, it gets more serious when there is intention to actually pull the government down because of these 2 Bills.”
However, he assured that Government is still committed to this policy eventually.
“But we feel that more work needs to be done, not necessarily on the content of the Bill, but, it’s on the understanding of this Bill and what it intends to do not only by Members of Parliament but also by Members of the public,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Bills will be delayed and will remain in Parliament because it is already been submitted to Parliament.
WEDNESDAY 4TH MAY 2016
Parliament has passed the Penal Code (Amendment) (Sexual Offences) Bill 2016 on Tuesday the 3rd of may 2016.
The Bill amended the Penal Code in relation to Sexual Offences to provide greater protection against sexual violence and exploitation.
The Bill also introduced the following new offences:
The Bill is passed with no amendments.
TUESDAY 3RD MAY 2016
Parliament has passed the ‘Police and Transport Legislation (Amendment) (Alcohol Testing) Bill 2016’, on Monday the 2nd of May 2016.
The Bill was an Act to amend the Police Act 2013, the Civil Aviation Act 2008, the Road Transport Act (CAP.131) and the Shipping Act 1998 to provide for testing for blood alcohol content and related offences.
The Act allows police officers to stop drivers and require them to undergo a breath test using a prescribed device.
It creates offences for persons who drive or operate vehicles, vessels and aircraft with blood alcohol level of 50 milligrams or more per 100 millilitres of blood.
The Act amend section 179 of the Police Act 2013 by increasing the penalty for failing to provide a forensic sample from 5000 penalty points to 10,000 penalty points.
Section 179 of the Police Act 2013 is: Any person who -
a)Refuses to undergo a forensic procedure when lawfully obliged to do so under the provisions of this Act;
b)Knowingly provides a false sample, a contaminated sample or a sample obtained from another person or thing;
c)Obstructs, resists, hinders, use violence against, threatens or intimidates a person in connection with the carrying out of forensic procedures,
Commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a penalty of 5000 penalty units or six months imprisonment or both.