TENAKOGA Primary School in the Paripao ward of North East Guadalcanal was recently boosted with solar sets thanks to Willies Electrical.
The school is being run by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church.
Situated further in-land, it takes over 2 hours on a rough ride to reach the school from Honiara.
The school turns 70 this year. It is one of the oldest missionary boarding primary schools in the country.
One of its problems is lack of lighting facilities.
There is a need for efficient source of power to produce light and power to all the seven staff houses, two dormitories, one office, one staff room, seven classrooms, one ECE classroom and one permanent chapel (building).
The school needs power to use computer to print/photocopy student work such as tests, reports, and children’s class activities.
We spend more time travelling forth and back to Honiara just do photocopying.
Some of the staff houses need repair.
Proper sanitation for the whole school is of paramount importance because children and staff alike used pit toilets with bush huts or no huts at all.
For baths, we used the big river and rain water and water from a special water source for drinking.
We also need educational materials, for every primary school child.
It has been a dream for the children, teachers and the surrounding communities as a whole that these developments somehow have now come to reality.
But on the 3rd of October this year, one of the school’s dream came into reality when the Willies Solar Electrical company, a locally owned company, installed a total of 16 x 250 watts solar panels at the school facilities.
They wired in all the classrooms, office, and staff houses.
The AC power were converted from DC through the powerful inverters and controlled by regulators installed on the 4 main switch boards.
During the day we can use the power supply for all the educational purposes we think and have access.
All the rooms were installed with fans, lights and power points.
At night the teachers and senior classes who board at school can do their studies and class preparations.
After 70 years in the dark, the school has been powered up.
The teachers, children and the community at large of Tenakoga would like to sincerely thank UNICEF Solomon Islands and Project coordinator, David Leeming, Ministry of Education, SDA education authority, and Willies Electrical Solar Company for making the whole project a success.
This was a costly and valuable gift to us.
And we accepted it without reservation and are committed to make full use of it.
The solar power is here for the benefit of the educational activities of our children.
The surrounding communities of Geza, Govu, Gheghede, Salamarau, the teachers and students of Tenakoga high school, church leaders, women and youth groups are welcome to come and benefit from this solar power.
This month the first “N Computing” for the school will open and operate in the main administration office which 10 students can use at one time.
We would like to thank Mr Edmond Losi and the USP Solomon Islands students for plans and costs.
The SDA education authority personnel had already spent two weekends here and benefited.
The solar project targeted five schools in Guadalcanal and Choiseul provinces.
The schools did not apply for the project but were selected by partners who were behind the project using their own system of selection.
It was a gift for our children who are the future of our nation.
This project is just at its starting point and we do hope other schools will also benefit in the future.
The schools in Guadalcanal are Titinge, Aruligo, Betivatu, Rate and Tenakoga.
Tenakoga at this point of time appeals especially to those who have passed through this school, the provincial Government representative, the Member of Parliament for North East Guadalcanal and any interested local business to keep up the good work in supporting the school.
This was a very unfortunate experience for us. But the Admin & teachers remain faithful to educate the young children.
There are a lot of challenges the school faces.
There is a need to have improved classrooms to replace all the old buildings.
Many students who passed through this school are serving as leaders and work men/women in different areas in the church, communities, provinces and government ministries.
But very little changes have been taking place; nevertheless the school is quietly sending students to high school every year.
Others received education and set up their own schools with modern facilities much better than Tenakoga in terms of classrooms set ups.
This school gave birth to a baby named Tenakoga Community High School in 2000.
Since then the communities left the primary school and spend full time building the high school.
The high school now becomes the pride of the surrounding communities of Geza, Govu, Geghede and Ghombua, Salalamarau villages.
By EDWIN MUSE
Tenakoga primary school