PM tells Brisbane SI Community of Educational Paradigm Shift

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Prime Minister Sogavare addresses the Brisbane Solomon Islands Community.
Prime Minister Sogavare addresses the Brisbane Solomon Islands Community.
Prime Minister Sogavare addresses the Brisbane Solomon Islands Community.

Solomon Islands is facing a major paradigm shift in Education as the Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) encourages more Solomon Islanders to pursue Doctors of Philosophy degree and secure employment abroad.

Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare told the Solomon Islands Community in Brisbane where he is transiting home from his eight-day state visit to Taiwan that the DCC Government deems this new paradigm shift is appropriate as Solomon Islands reliance on natural resources as the mainstay of its economy will have to move to human resources.

“Our economic strength currently lies in our natural resources. However, as natural resources will deplete, the only sustainable resource that we can confidently rely on as the mainstay of our economy is human resources, which we sustainably produce at a rate of 2.3 percent annually.

Members of the Brisbane Solomon Islands Community listen attentively to the Prime Minister Sogavare as he addresses them.
Members of the Brisbane Solomon Islands Community listen attentively to the Prime Minister Sogavare as he addresses them.

“The question about job availability in Solomon Islands for all Solomon Islanders studying abroad after the completion of their studies is a challenging question that Solomon Islanders, especially students, continue to pose to the government.

“As a matter of fact, our natural resources cannot sustain our fast growing population rate and therefore what we should now pursue is to educate Solomon Islanders to be able to secure employment abroad. Highly educated Solomon Islands do not need to come back home to work after the completion of their studies. They can stay on to work in their countries of study or secure employment elsewhere abroad. The only thing that the Government would need to do is to put in place a law that will ensure that they remit home a certain portion of their earnings.”

The Prime Minister said Malta and the Republic of Fiji are doing ‘really’ well from the exportation of their highly educated human resources and Solomon Islands can follow suit if it starts investing seriously in the education of its human resources.

Members of the Brisbane Solomon Islands community were all ears as Prime Minister Sogavare delivers his address.
Members of the Brisbane Solomon Islands community were all ears as Prime Minister Sogavare delivers his address.

“The highly educated Maltese and Fijians working abroad remit home a certain portion of their earnings and the Maltese and Fijian economies are doing very well from remittances,” he added.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the United Nations is an institution that highly educated Solomon Islanders should eye employment with, adding that Solomon Islands has not filled its employment quota with the UN and the DCCG is keen to see this quota filled.

“To date only two Solomon Islanders, namely Mr Peter Kenilorea (Junior) and Mr Lynold Wini are serving at the United Nations. I always feel so proud whenever I see Mr Kenilorea sitting behind big world names as advisor and I would like to see more Solomon Islands professionals in such position,” he added.

Prime Minister Sogavare and Madam Sogavare, wearing garlands, share a photo opportunity with the Solomon Islands Community members in Brisbane.
Prime Minister Sogavare and Madam Sogavare, wearing garlands, share a photo opportunity with the Solomon Islands Community members in Brisbane. At the far right end of the front row is the Acting Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, Ms Fiona Indu.

Meanwhile, responding to a question by the Solomon Islands Brisbane Community about the issue of introduction of dual citizenship by the Solomon Islands Government, Prime Minister Sogavare said the DCCG is working on the legislation for the introduction of dual citizenship and this bill will be taken to Parliament either at its final sitting for 2016 or its first sitting for 2017.

He said the introduction of dual citizenship would enable Solomon Islanders studying and working abroad to participate in national general elections and thus see a great improvement in the quality of Solomon Islands parliamentary leadership.

The Prime Minister said the quality of parliamentary leadership reflects the level of education of voters and he believes that if the educated Solomon Islanders studying and working overseas are given the opportunity of participating in national general elections, Solomon Islands would see a great difference.

The Prime Minister and his delegation on the state visit to Taiwan arrived back in Honiara today.