AFTER weeks of intense public debate, the minister of education Dick Ha’amori had announced government’s support for the 4th University of the South Pacific (USP) campus in Honiara with the allocation of a land.
What a relief it would for all those who wants to see the establishment of this fourth campus in the country.
This is proposal had long been on the table.
Now, the government must fulfil its obligation to the young generation.
USP Solomon Islands campus director John Usuramo last week highlighted the need for the proposed 4th USP campus in the country.
Mr Usuramo who had been working many years for USP at the main Laucala campus and now in Honiara had much more insights of the challenges local students have been facing if they continue to travel to Suva or other regional USP campus.
Not only that but in Honiara the 13 percent increase of enrolment each years poses more strain on USP staff and its very few facilities.
And this is very challenging, given the seriousness of government when it comes to human resource training of this country.
The government is spending so much million in sending our local students overseas.
In Honiara $1.8m is being spent on rental for the Mokolo building.
Such money should be have been used for other important education programs in the country.
Enrollment at USP Solomon Islands campus has increased at over 13-percent each year.
The campus director warned that if the current number of students does not move to the main Laucala campus in Suva, they are unlikely to enroll more students.
This year alone, Laucala campus enrolled over 1,200 students mostly students under government scholarships.
Last year it was more than 800.
While at the Honiara Campus it is even higher than that.
Last year it was 1007 and this year the enrollment went up to 1569.
Thus, having another USP campus would bring so much benefits and saving for this country.
The Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP) executive recently calls on the NCRA government to review their stand on the proposed 4th USP Campus in the country.
This is because education is a national issue and the government should take every opportunity to ensure that our citizens have access to the best educational facilities available.
Despite this many criticisms government on the other hand maintained they are in support of this proposal.
And it seems after so much pressure from the public and the USP students alike the minister had tabled a paper which had the blessing of the Cabinet.
Good on you Ha’amori, its time to get the balls rolling now.
Your actions have spoken well in recognizing the importance of education.
Given the soft loan now available the government and USP team must pull their resources work together to speed up the process of establishing this campus.
We must not lose the funding from Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Strike while the iron is hot.
Its our only opportunity.
Getting this campus built this year will be a legacy for the NCRA government.
However we must also acknowledged the support from the previous government under the leadership of Sogavare and Dr Sikua.