Vocational training - the way forward
Speaking to students and staff of Afutara Rural Training Centre on Malaita, the Coordinator of Rural Training Centres Robert Chris said young people who have not been fortunate to continue education beyond Forms 3 and 5 should not feel as if they have reached the edge.
Mr Chris was part of the Education Monitoring Team that had recently visited the provinces to monitor and assess schools that have been assisted under the first phase of the education Strategic Plan 2004-2006.
“I want to emphasise here that vocational training is an alternative form of education that has surpassed any other means of equipping oneself with the necessary skills well suited for one’s future livelihood in the rural areas,” Mr Chris stated.
Mr Chris revealed that the government has plans in place to further enhance the role that Rural Training Centres would play in forming alternative means of education to aspiring students who would want to pursue practical skills training.
“I want to make one thing clear that opportunities to find jobs and money are not necessarily available only in Honiara”, Mr Chris said, adding that, “with the skills learned in Rural Training Centres one can earn a satisfactory life in his own community”.
He stressed the fact that the bulk of the population live in the rural areas which form about 80 per cent of the total population who are blessed with abundant resources and untapped opportunities.
“You only need to be given the appropriate training, as offered in Rural Training Centres such as carpentry, mechanic, agriculture and other live skills training, and you can do lots of things on your own,” Mr Chris said.
He further explained that the Rural Training Centres offer the kind of training that would help students to create opportunities rather than looking for opportunities.
“In Honiara those who left schools either from the Colleges and Universities flood the markets looking for job opportunities but in the case of vocational trained students they have the advantage of creating opportunities for themselves,” he said.
“We have several vocational centres that offer specialised skills training for both boys and girls throughout the provinces...these offer adequate training and equal opportunities for girls as well.”
Mr Chris called on all students currently doing studies in Rural Training Centres to make good use of the opportunity and work hard so that at the end of their training they will return to their communities and put to good use the skills that they have acquired.
The roles of Rural Training Centres, Mr Chris explained, have been recognised by the government and it will in the longer term be incorporated into the whole education system.
- Government Communications Unit