IN May 2022, Beiporo Primary school on Vella La Vella, Western Province, signed a grant support worth $686,000 with the Japanese Government for the construction of a new classroom complex.
This month, ten months on from the signing ceremony, the two-storey complex stands complete.
For head teacher, Robson Apusae, this is a success story because of the commitment shown by the community, parents and the school administration to pull together the resources and labour contract to complete the project.
Mr Apusae traveled to Honiara to sign the deal in May last year.
Since then, work on the project sprung to action without lay.
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions and challenges, Mr Apusae and his team, with the support of the Beiporo community and the surrounding communities, were able to complete the school within the one-year time frame.
Last Wednesday, the community along with Japanese government officials, witnessed the official opening of the new classroom.
And Mr Apusae was a happy man after the opening ceremony.
“Thank you, Japanese Embassy, for putting your funds where they are most needed,” he said in a personal post on facebook concerning the support.
The Japanese government explained that this assistance would enable the school to provide an appropriate learning environment for students and contribute to the socio-economic development of Solomon Islands through giving children opportunities for quality education.
The school boss further stated in his post that; “We are truly honoured and proud to see the completion of this project.
“This is a huge achievement and milestone for our people of Western Province.”
Mr Apusae further added that the generous support would be remembered as a symbol of the friendship between the people of Japan and Solomon Islands for many years to come.
Charge d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan in Honiara, Counsellor Norimasa Yoshida, on behalf of Japanese Embassy said he believes that this funded infrastructure will one day produce potential leaders who would bring continuous positive change to Solomon Islands.
Counsellor Yoshida at the project signing ceremony last year said, “The assistance would enable the school to provide an appropriate learning environment for students and provide jobs for skilled locals.”
He explained that one of the priority areas of Japan’s assistance under its Grassroots and Human Security Scheme is providing support towards basic education.
“Education plays a key role in development of the society and the country,” Counsellor Yoshida said.
He added that education opens doors to a bright future for children.
“Solomon Islands is still a young country with a lot of children with many dreams.
“Therefore, we believe that this project will have positive impacts on the socio-economic development of Solomon Islands. And hopefully it will strengthen further cordial relationship between Solomon Islands and Japan,” Counsellor Yoshida added.
He emphasised that one important aspect of the project was the participation and contribution of communities.
And that was evident in the successful completion of the project.
Counsellor Yoshida said the community had pledged to support and complete the project within the given timeframe and that goal was achieved when it was completed in less than a year.
For Apusae, it was a sweet story for him, the school and community.
By MOFFAT MAMU