THE Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Selina Boso has urged the 122graduates of Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) to put into good use the skills and knowledge that they have acquired.
Ms Boso made the reminder at the APTC graduation ceremony held at the Maranatha hall, east Honiara on Tuesday.
“I urge you (graduates) to utilize the skills that you have acquired from the training programs that you have successfully completed,” she said.
“I believe some will return to their workplace, others seeking further higher education and others seeking employment,” Ms Boso added.
“One of the areas that I wish to challenge all of you on is creating employment and making full use of the resources we have in the country.
“All along we have been a primary industry economy however it is now time to shift away from that mentality and move into making our economy a manufacturing type of economy, the kind of economy that we produce and so it brings the importance of creating small-medium enterprises/businesses that can grow back revenue or income into the economy, boosting creation of job opportunities and so forth,” she said.
Ms Boso said she believes it is possible especially with added skills gained from APTC programs.
Meanwhile, she said the increase in the number of females graduating through the APTC training program is a bonus for other girls and women in the Solomon Islands.
“Not only that but it also shows women can do any job nowadays, even what is seen as a men’s job, women have flood those field around the globe and today with two more Solomon Islands women graduating as qualified electro-technology electrician and in plumping and others in other fields is worth recognition.
“We need more girls and women and so I encourage those of you female graduates to also encourage other girls and women to take up fields that are lacking in our country’s local and regional labour markets,” she added.
She said, of course, it has been proven that given the opportunity to access education, it is surely a way to empower girls and women to address a lot of issues that affect girls and women such as low employment rate of girls/women, domestic violence, lack of girls/women holding leadership roles at all levels.
Ms Boso added that the need to impart the added skills that you (graduates) have to others who might not have the opportunity to attain what you have gained in life is important.
“I once heard my grandfather said that you have to give back to your country and one of the ways is through education.
“Our education becomes meaningless if we do not give back to our country and communities.
“Graduating fellow Solomon Islanders, our country is more than 85 per cent rural economy and our challenge is to develop the rural economy in order for our country to achieve economic growth and development.
“Whilst we acknowledge that some of us tend to find greener pastures elsewhere, it is very important that we also think about developing our rural economy with the added skills and education we have attained.
“Therefore, the challenge is to put into action the education we attain otherwise they become meaningless,” she said.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO