CHAIRMAN of Ulunga Primary School in North West of Malaita, Mauta Kemuel described Japan’s classroom building project assistance as a major development progress in the school’s rehabilitation efforts.
“The Japanese development project assistance will really help them to rebuild the school and to reach even more greater standard,” the school chairman made the sentiment at the recent grant contract signing ceremony held at the Japan Embassy office in Honiara.
The two-story classroom project is funded under the Japanese Grassroots and Human Security scheme program in Solomon Islands and is worth around SBD$ 690,000.00.
He said the project assistance marks a very significant chapter in the history of the Ulunga Primary School.
“The school was founded in 1961 and it was the first school to be established in North West Malaita in Malaita province. After it establishment, the school board and management, land trustees and community have made collaborative efforts towards the progressive development of the school building infrastructures.
“However, in 2002, the social effects of the ethnic tension affected the development progress and capacity of the school. The off spill of the ethnic unrest brought tribal arguments and land disputes, which forced the school to temporarily halt its operations.
“Refugees from Malaita returning from the conflict on the island of Guadalcanal destroyed the school classroom buildings, however, we managed relocate the school site to a two square kilometres plot of land and built temporary classrooms using bush materials to house our students.
“The new school site was offered by a primary landlord of the community, James Naga,” he added.
Kemuel said following the lodging of their application in November 2016, they have been dreamt and wished that one-day the government of Japan will officially approve their proposal.
“Today it becomes a reality to stand here and be part of the grant signing ceremony. It’s the first of its kind for Ulunga School and community. We pledge ourselves here, that we will work on it to competition, value it, care for it and maintain this precious asset.
“In terms of human resource development; the school has produced many people who are now teachers, carpenters, administrators, medical nurses and doctors, pastors,” he added.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, His Excellency, Kenichi Kimiya said one of the priority areas under their grassroots and human security scheme in Solomon Islands is supporting basic education through the construction of school facilities such as classrooms for students as they believe education plays key role inn development.
“We believe that this project will have a positive impact on the development of human resources in Solomon Islands. May I congratulate Ulunga Primary School for the successful approval of your proposal and I wish you all the best for the completion of the project,” he said.