Guadalcanal Provincial Education Authority (GPEA) has sealed a deal that will see most its provincial schools boosted with scientific equipment and chemicals.
The deal comes in a form of an agreement signed recently between GPEA and Omega Scientific of Australia.
Omega Scientific has been supplying scientific equipment and chemicals to Solomon Islands since 1996.
The South Australian company pledged to continue supplying scientific equipment and chemicals to the country and its bid to do so it invited GPEA’s Chief Education Officer (CEO), Maesac Suia, Provincial Education Minister Lazarus Alfred Rina and GPEA’s senior accountant Edson Ramoifanua to Australia to see firsthand the factories involving in manufacturing of scientific equipment and chemicals.
After two days of factories sightseeing an agreement has been brokered where GPEA has agreed that Omega Scientific will supply scientific equipment and chemicals to schools in the province.
The agreement will be active for the next four years but subject to change upon agreement between the two parties involved.
CEO Mr Suia, said the agreement is a breakthrough for Guadalcanal schools in terms of boosting science education.
The move is based on the fact that recent provincial secondary results have shown overwhelming number of students scoring average marks in science which is not good enough.
“Secondly, science labs constructed at Turarana and Visale under the Provincial Government Strengthening Program (PGSP) are not equipped with necessary and basic scientific equipment and chemicals,” Mr Suia stated.
GPEA’s boss also added that of the 26 secondary schools in Guadalcanal only Tangarare, Avuavu and Ruavatu have science labs but with out- of- date science equipment while 23 other schools neither have a lab nor necessary scientific apparatus and chemicals.
Mr Suia has pointed out the agreement with Omega Scientific will greatly benefit the education authority as students for the first- time will enhance their scientific knowledge and understanding based on practical works using latest scientific equipment and chemicals.
“Over the years, students have delved in theoretical studies without fully understanding the different fields of science because schools lack necessary scientific equipment, with the agreement with Omega students are expecting to do well both in theory and practical works,” Suia said.
Mr Suia said, the commencement of the agreement will see first six schools to receive essential scientific equipment and chemicals, these schools including Avuavu, Tangarare, Ruavatu, Nguvia, Marara, and Numbu.
“The funding for these equipment will be sourced from schools themselves with the Provincial Government and GPEA also contributing through a budget support for that purpose,” Suia stated.
The GPEA’s chief also revealed that Omega Scientific will offer trainings to science teachers on basic methods on how to use the modern scientific apparatuses and maintain them as well as how to properly store chemicals.
“GPEA is in the process of identifying and selecting science teachers to travel to Australia and undertake the basic trainings,” Suia said.
Meanwhile, Mr Suia acknowledged John Kea who is the Omega Scientific representative in the country for linking up the GPEA and the Australian based company.
The GPEA’s boss also extended gratitude to Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Human Resources Development, Dr Franco Rhodie and Undersecretary Ambrose Malefoasi for their support in one or another in seeing the agreement coming into fruition.
Omega Scientific is the preferred supplier of scientific equipment and chemicals in South Australia and it has been in that business for 19 years now.
The company has a reputation for supplying high quality equipment and chemicals, and offer competitive prices with an outstanding level of customer service.
By Allan Tarohania