The second teacher's Resource book workshop for teachers of Guadalcanal Province ended successfully on Thursday 27th October 2022 with a presentation of certificates to the participants in a dinner hosted by the Deputy Speaker of the National Parliament and MP for Temotu Nende Hon. Commins Mewa at the Heritage Park Hotel.
On Tuesday 25th October 2022, the Civic Education Unit initiated its 2nd consultation with teachers from various schools throughout the Guadalcanal Province, excluding Honiara which was the first.
The program runs for 3 days and officially ends on the 27th of October 2022.
Speaking to participants at the closing dinner, Hon. Mewa said “I Believe each one of you has benefited from the training and looking forward to going back to your respective schools and utilizing this new knowledge”
Deputy Speaker Mewa explains that the National Parliament is committed to ensuring that all schools around the country have access to all the information gathered from such training.
“We have strived over the past decade to make Parliament relevant and accessible to the people. Through our education program, our aim is to educate citizens on the role and functions of Parliament, and with these books, the aim is coming to fruition”
Parliament media asked some of the teachers about the outcome of the resource book training and these are some of the highlighted sessions they mentioned;
• Understanding the Separation of powers in theory and practice
• Law-making process from policy to an Act of Parliament
• Parliament as the oversight of the Executive Government
• Parliament Committee system
• Powers of the Governor General
• Linking Parliament to the teachers, students, and citizens and how they can be effective citizens
Hon. Commins Mewa adds the training will also benefit participants as citizens to make informed choices when electing their representatives in election times.
Earlier during the opening of the second Parliament Teachers Resource Book program, Speaker of the National Parliament, Patteson Oti had also reiterated that this was a further milestone to the first event held in July this year in the history and developments of the Solomon Islands Parliament, as this will be the first book produced to be used by teachers, students, and citizens who would like to learn more about Parliament.
He said the materials contained in the book can also be used by government ministries, Non-Government Organizations, and Civil society organizations whose work includes the promotion of good governance and accountability. Basically, because it is very simple any Solomon Islander can access it through the Parliament Website”
Mr. Oti said he hopes the book will be fully utilized by schools and various different organizations both in the public and private spheres.
Principal of AO Community High School Mr. Richard Balue, who spoke on behalf of the Guadalcanal teachers said they’re so privileged to attend this very important workshop.
“We’ve learned and gained much knowledge of information regarding our Parliament and the Government in the Solomon Islands throughout the 3 days resource book workshop”
He said “the objective of the workshop was vitally important and as information needs to be disseminated right down to our rural communities and that is the approach which we’re taking”
Mr. Balue, therefore, thanked the United Nations Development Program for funding the workshop and the Parliamentary Civic Education Unit who were at the front line to initiate and host the program.
“We have learned a lot, much of the information that we haven’t known in the past that we’ve learned all throughout these 3 days of the workshop”
He said when teachers go back to their various schools, they will be able to transfer and translate the information gathered to the students who will then transfer further down to the community level.
Mr. Balue believes the current approach is sure to be effective compared to other past approaches where awareness of such Parliamentary information was less effective due to other unforeseen factors and therefore information has not been able to reach our rural villages.
He finally acknowledged the facilitators, presenters, and resource persons of the book workshop for their invaluable knowledge-sharing of various topics covered.
“We could refer to this program as timely despite the challenges that we’re facing now, we believe that in the near future they will be changed if we effectively disseminate this knowledge to our students and to our communities, I, therefore, recommended the Parliamentary Civic Education Unit to continue with this good program so that we will see a change in our Community”
In 2010 Parliament started working on drafting a resource material to be used by social science teachers in secondary schools. In 2021 the Ministry of Education and Human Resources accepted the material as support documents in the curriculum to be used in secondary schools around the country.
Under the Curriculum development, Parliament recently published 3 resource booklets to be used by teachers and students. With the support of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Parliament was able to distribute the books to all the Secondary Schools around the country. This is indeed a milestone for Parliament.
The National Parliament through the Speaker’s Office thanked the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and Curriculum Development Division (CDD) for their joint effort in getting the book published and distributed to schools.
Further acknowledgment to the Australian Government through the Twinning Partnership that the Solomon Islands Parliament has with the New South Wales Parliament and their education team who were the first to make comments on the content of the booklet.
Special thanks to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through its Strengthening Legislatures Capacity in Pacific Islands Countries Project that Parliament is able to launch these books and conduct this 2nd training for our teachers.
UNDP’s substantial support will benefit all the school children around this country Solomon Islands.