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Thursday, November 16, 2006

SICHE establish links with Uni of Waikato


SOLOMON Islands College of Higher Education School of Education has established partnership with the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
SICHE Education Head of School Patricia Rodi said the three years partnership was established in June this year to assist the school in providing quality teacher education.
Mrs Rodi said such partnership provided an avenue for the School of Education to receive expert advice and support directly from the university in its mission to improve teacher training at SICHE.
“This offers and maximised the availability of its courses so that it can reach the majority of potential teachers throughout rural Solomon Islands,” Mrs Rodi said.
Mrs Rodi, who initiated the idea, said this was the first time such arrangements had been made by the school.
“It is a history for this school.
“Establishing an institutional link with a regional institution was a dream or wish the school would like to fulfil sooner than later since 2004,” she added.
The partnership was made possible by New Zealand Government.
Mrs Rodi said the plan to establish a sister-relationship with a regional teacher education institution went as far back as 2004, when the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) with its donor partners, the European Union (EU) and New Zealand, launched the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme (ESIRP). “It was towards the end of 2004 that a review of the school was conducted and the idea of establishing an institutional link with a regional institution was recommended,” she said.
She said now that the Waikato team had signed a contract with NZAID for the partnership link, the school is looking forward to working closely with them to set some ground rules for the partnership and to begin planning on how they could work together as partners to improve the quality of teacher education programmes at SOE.
“This will enable us to provide the best training for pre-service, in-service and untrained teachers throughout the Solomon Islands,” the head of school said.
Mrs Rodi highlighted a lot of things that SICHE hopes to achieve through the partnership and this includes the exposure of students and staffs to their education strategies and developments of appropriate teaching and learning materials to improve the professional morale of the School and its staff.
“Our objective is to build a strong collaborative spirit based on development of actual personal relationships between individual staff members and systems of the two institutions,” she added.
So far the School of Education at the University of Waikato, had made three visits to the SOE-SICHE
They did a familiarisation visit from June 6 to 12 this year, followed by a second visit from July 17 to 21 and a recent visit last month.
Mrs Rodi said another team of six consultants from the University of Waikato will be visiting the school next week for three weeks to work with the School of Education staff.
She said the purpose of this month’s visit is to review the current programme structure of the teacher education programmes and to design a training package for the training of 1500 untrained teachers currently recruited in the school system that will be implemented as of 2007.

Source Solomon Star

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