19 Dec 2008

Solomons school reforms target girls' lack of access

2:36 pm on 19 December 2008

Solomon Islands Minister of Education, Mathew Wale, says a key aim of his government's plans to extend free schooling, is to ensure greater access for girls.

Fees at primary schools were removed several years ago, but from next year the Government, with aid donor help, will drop them for students in the third form or year nine.

Mr Wale says the fees are a major impediment and, in a fairly male dominated society, particularly so for girls.

"What we are trying to do through the normal education process is to get families to give equal weight, equal value to the education of a son as well as a daughter - that neither of them should be disadvantaged by the other. So I am very hopeful that with the implementation of this policy next year that we will see, especially, the enrolment of girls past primary school will increase."

Mathew Wale