16 Jul 2003

Restoration of education seen as a key in Solomons rebuilding

4:15 pm on 16 July 2003

The New Zealand Minister in charge of Aid, Marian Hobbs, says one of the basic steps in getting out of any poverty cycle is having an educated population.

She says this is why New Zealand has agreed with other aid donors to fund Solomon Islands primary school teachers and re-resource the classrooms.

Ms Hobbs says education is vital if communities throughout the country are to be rebuilt.

She says the next stage for aid donors would be to provide employment opportunities in what is a resource rich country.

"It's almost a weeny bit like Timor you know, with Timor with oil out there. This is a resource rich society, it needs to have a sense though, that everyone has a place in sharing those resources, it therefore needs to have a good injection of community level power and democracy, which requires an educated community, and therefore you get people up, and give them the assistance to start the small businesses which run off the large resources."