- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The 2014 Education Act, which governs all education from early childhood to tertiary level in the Solomon Islands, defines an “Education Authority” as a “body corporate, provincial government or another type of organization (incorporated or unincorporated body) which has the governance structure satisfactory to the Minister” and may establish and maintain schools. In the 2015 Education White Paper, Education Authorities may include “government, provincial, church, private or independent” bodies, which the 2018 Annual Report distinguishes between “government” and “non-government”. Finally, the 1978 Constitution of the Solomon Islands (known as the Solomon Islands Independence Order) refers to a “religious community” which is “entitled, at its own expense, to establish and maintain places of education and to manage any place of education which it wholly maintains”, as well as schools set up a “Provincial Assembly, Church or other body”.
Most schools (74%) in the Solomon Islands at primary (6 years, ages 6 – 11) and secondary (7 years, ages 12 – 18) level are owned by the state, which covers over 70% of total enrolments. The state is obliged to provide 9 years of free and compulsory education based on the Policy on Basic Education and the Fee-Free Basic Education Policy (Education Act 2014, Education White Paper 2015).
Due to many children residing in isolated villages in the Solomon Islands, the government has additionally established satellite schools (also referred to as “extension schools”) which provide education to children who (due to isolation, distance, and terrain) find it challenging to access education in their nearest school.
Non-state managed, state schools
The Solomon Islands also has several community schools, which are state-owned schools that are established and managed by local communities.
Non-state funded, state schools
No information was found.
Independent, non-state schools
No information was found.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
In the Solomon Islands, all non-state schools receive annual per capita grants as part of the government’s commitment to operationalize the Fee-Free Basic Education Policy. These schools are owned and managed by registered Education Authorities (which include private, community-based, church, and independent bodies) and receive funding based on their location (with additional assistance provided to more remote schools) to cover costs in infrastructure, teaching and learning material, utilities, and administration. Education Authorities may administer more than one school once they have been registered and approved by the Ministry for Education and Human Resource Development. Besides faith-based and community schools, non-state schools also include international schools, which follow international curricula such as International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
While no information was found on the legality of homeschooling in the Solomon Islands, the Ministry for Education and Human Resource Development developed the Education System Response Scenario Plan during the school closures in early 2020 to plan for learning continuity from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The plan aimed to mobilize and engage communities to prioritise curriculum and learning standards for each education level catered to the challenges in distance learning. The Ministry specifically developed four scenarios for schools closing, schools reopening, adaptive opening/closing, and education system recovery.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
Approximately half of early childhood education centres (which are largely community-based) are officially registered with the government, with the rest operating unregistered (Education White Paper 2015). There was no information found on unregistered primary or secondary schools.
The Ministry for Education and Human Resource Development (MoEHRD) is responsible for the overall governance and regulation of the education system in the Solomon Islands (including both state and non-state provision) from early childhood to tertiary level, with the Solomon Islands Tertiary Education and Skills Authority (SITESA) under the MoEHRD specifically responsible for tertiary education.
Moreover, in some provinces (based on the number of Education Authorities operating in the region), Provincial Education Boards (PEBs) have been established that are responsible for the management and coordination of state and non-state education delivery amongst the authorities. Each PEB strives to “foster a dynamic partnership with the Education Authority, parents, schools, and the communities that they serve”.
Vision: The government of the Solomon Islands views communities as having an “important function” in the governance, maintenance and improvement of education. According to the 2015 Education White Paper, “an effective education system must involve partnership between key actors”, identified as the “government, Education Authorities, parents, trustees, owners, governors, management bodies, local communities…non-governmental organizations, and development partners”, which have historically “made a staunch commitment to the provision of education and to making it available”. This vision is equally reflected in the Education Strategic Framework 2016-30 which aims on “developing solid partnerships with the private sector”, acknowledging the “relative importance of the provision by different actors (public, private, community based, etc.)”.
In the Solomon Islands, early childhood care and education (ECCE) covers ages 3 – 5 and is provided in nurseries, playschools, preschools, kindergartens and day care centres. The pre-primary year is considered part of Basic Education and is the first official year of education that students are expected to commence at the age of 5. While most ECCE services (82%) are provided by the state, ECCE is generally viewed as the “responsibility of the community”. While this level of education and care was originally under a business legislation, the responsibility has been transferred to the MoEHRD which now registers and monitors these programs.
Registration and approval: All ECCE services in the Solomon Islands are required to be registered under the 2014 Education Act through an application made to Permanent Secretary of Education. Applicants can be “individuals or organizations” and must fulfil the minimum registration requirements in terms of health and safety, infrastructure (including classrooms and buildings), learning material, child protection, and staff, and any other standards set in the 2010 National Early Childhood Education Policy Statement (including child-teacher ratios and building requirements). The Permanent Secretary may determine which individuals or categories of people are “unacceptable to operate or work in an ECCE center” and keeps a list of these people. A registered Education Authority may operate an ECCE program in the year before primary education (as part of the school it administers). For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
License: If the Permanent Secretary is satisfied that the minimum requirements have been met, the applicant is issued a registration certificate (valid for 5 years). Registration may also be conditional subject to specific terms and conditions which must be met within a set time period.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: The MoEHRD may provide grants to registered ECCE centers based on their location, fees, number of students, and education outcomes in accordance with the Early Childhood Education Centre Grants Code. The MoEHRD may additionally pay part or all the salaries of teachers which have been registered under the government. Services receiving grants from the MoEHRD are financially accountable to the Minister on how the grant is to be used.
Curriculum and education standards: All ECCE programs are required to follow the national curriculum developed by the MoEHRD in the final year of the program (which links with the first year of primary education). Any providers that wish to follow a recognized overseas curriculum must first obtain the approval of the MoEHRD. All programs must reflect the traditions and values of the local community and any religious instruction or ceremony provided is required to not be compulsory. Finally, the language of instruction at each ECCE center must be the local language or the vernacular of the community.
Teaching profession: The 2014 Education Act states that each service must provide “sufficient teaching and other staff with appropriate qualifications and experience”, which are defined in the 2010 National Early Childhood Education Policy Statement (with minimum criteria for trained teachers and assistance teachers). For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Fee-setting: ECCE programs in the Solomon Islands are allowed to charge fees for their services, with no regulation on fee-setting found.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found.
Reporting requirements: ECCE providers are required to provide the Permanent Secretary with a report on the operation of the service whenever requested. Moreover, services receiving grants from the MoEHRD are financially accountable to the Minister based on the Early Childhood Education Centre Grants Code. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Inspection: An authorized officer appointed by the MoEHRD may enter and inspect an ECCE center at any time to determine whether the provider is operating in accordance with the 2014 Education Act, complying with the registration requirements, and delivering an approved curriculum.
Child assessment: No information was found.
Sanctions: If an ECCE centre is not complying with the registration requirements, does not have sufficient resources, or is operating in a way that is deemed to be detrimental to students or staff, the Permanent Secretary may cancel the centre’s registration (giving providers 28 days to appeal). If on the other hand a program is considered to present “an unacceptable risk to the safety or welfare of students and/or staff”, the Permanent Secretary may order the immediate closure of the center.
Registration and approval: According to the 2014 Education Act, non-state primary and secondary schools are required to be established by an Education Authority (incorporated or unincorporated body) which has been registered under the MoEHRD and has a governance structure that is satisfactory to the Minister. Applications must be made to the Permanent Secretary and will be approved if there is a “genuine need” for the proposed Education Authority to establish a school or schools in that area (with no other authority administering similar schools in the area), there are sufficient facilities and resources available, and the proposed authority can sufficiently manage and administer these institutions. The establishment of a school will then be approved if additional requirements in land ownership and infrastructure are met and the application is supported by the local community (which may be consulted). Similar to ECCE the Permanent Secretary may have specific criteria on which individuals or groups of people can establish and administer a school (with a list of people deemed as “unacceptable” to manage schools). For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
License: If the Permanent Secretary is satisfied that the applicant meets the minimum criteria, the Education Authority is registered and may establish a school or schools within their area.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): All schools must ensure the provision of a sufficient supply of clean water and toilet facilities (Education Act 2014). The MoEHRD standard is 1 toilet per 40 girls and 1 toilet per 60 boys.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: According to the (updated) 2012 Policy Statement and Guidelines for Grants to Schools in Solomon Islands, all schools which are registered under the MoEHRD (irrespective of ownership) are provided with bi-annual grants to finance their administration costs, utilities, teaching and learning materials, and building maintenance. Grants (which may be received in cash or through the provision of basic school materials) are administered based on student enrolment (per capita allocation), school location (with remote schools eligible for increased assistance), fees charged, educational outcomes, and school administration. Moreover, the Teaching Scheme of Service funds all teacher salaries in registered schools. The aim of these grants are to “eliminate school fees for basic education” and all schools which receive this assistance from the state are financially accountable to the Minister through the School Grants Code. In addition to the assistance received through state grants, schools may additionally request financial contributions from parents through the provision of additional material and fundraising.
Curriculum and education standards: All schools in the Solomon Islands (state and non-state) must follow the national curriculum developed by the MoEHRD (which includes content on traditional culture and customs) or a recognized overseas curriculum (which must be pre-approved by the MoEHRD). Schools which follow an international curriculum are required to integrate national curriculum components and subjects in their syllabus so that students are able to participate in national assessments. In the case of schools established by faith-based organizations (such as churches), any religious instruction or ceremony must not be compulsory, with students given the freedom to be exempted from attendance.
Textbooks and learning materials: Teaching and learning materials for registered schools are provided by the government (as part of their grant). The cost of the educational material is subtracted from the school grant if schools decide to utilise this service.
Teaching profession: All teachers in the Solomon Islands (irrespective of whether they are employed in state or non-state schools) must be registered as a teacher with the Teaching Service Commission, as “no person may be employed as a teacher in a school unless he or she is registered or a provisionally registered teacher” (Education Act 2014). There is no distinction between teachers employed by state and non-state Education Authorities in the law and regulations. The Teaching Service Commission sets out the minimum requirements for teacher registration, including qualifications. All Education Authorities (including provincial, church, and private) and teachers must adhere to the 2011 Teaching Service Handbook, which includes the National Professional Standards, National Code of Conduct, and conditions of service for all teachers. Working conditions (including salaries, allowances, working hours, appointment, and leave) are also regulated, while the government pays the salaries of most registered teachers. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Corporal punishment: Corporal punishment is prohibited in all schools in the Solomon Islands (state and non-state) according to the 2014 Education Act, which states that “corporal punishment of students is not permitted” and other forms of punishment may be used (such as school service or reasonable work).
Other safety measures and Covid-19: All schools must ensure the safety and welfare of their students and staff, which include maintaining appropriate standards of child protection (monitored during inspections).
Fee-setting: According to the (updated) Policy Statement and Guidelines for Grants to Schools in Solomon Islands 2012, all schools (state or non-state) which receive 100% grant funding from the government are prohibited from charging fees (other than boarding fees) during the 9 years of free and compulsory education, with any fees charged in higher grades determined by the MoEHRD. Schools may choose to apply to the MoEHRD for the ability to charge some school fees (with a limit provided and reduction of the grant received), while all schools may request parent and community contributions if approved by the school board.
Admission selection and processes: No student may be denied admission to any school (state or non-state) on the account of his/her gender, nationality, religion, race, disability, language, or pregnancy (Education Act 2014). This provision is to be interpreted flexibly in the case of single-gender schools or special schools.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found.
School board: All primary and secondary schools (state and non-state) are required to establish a school board comprised of the school principal, Education Authority representative, chair of the Parent-Teacher Association, school staff representative, and 3 representatives chosen by the parents of the children attending the school (with specific roles outlined in the Teaching Student Handbook). In secondary schools, the board must additionally include a student body representative, while all boards must have at least 3 women participating. School boards may additionally establish a sub-committee of 3 or more members (with parents and community members being the majority of members) or a Parent-Teacher Association.
Reporting requirements: All schools receiving grants from the state (irrespective of ownership) must keep accurate records of school income and expenditure (which must be made available for inspection at any time) in addition to submitting 6-month financial reports to the school board. The school board must then report on the school’s budget and finances to the parents and community members concerned. Each Education Authority is responsible for monitoring receipts, reports, and grant allocation in each of their schools, making sure that all provisions in the Grant Code are being complied with. Finally, all Education Authorities must submit annual reports to the Permanent Secretary on the operations and performance of all schools which they administer. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
School inspection: The Permanent Secretary of the MoEHRD arranges for all schools (state and non-state) to be inspected at appropriate times (based on the School Inspection Handbook) in order to determine whether the provisions of the 2014 Education Act are being complied with, and whether the school is effective in its teaching practices, management, financial arrangements, attendance, and student performance. During school inspections, particular focus is given on the school’s prevention of gender inequity and child abuse.
Student assessment: All students in state and non-state schools in the Solomon Islands must sit for national examinations developed by the MoEHRD.
Diplomas and degrees: The MoEHRD is responsible for determining the award of all nationally-recognized certificates or any other educational qualification.
Sanctions: If any serious concerns are identified during a school inspection, the MoEHRD and concerned Education Authority must be informed immediately and the Education Authority is required to take immediate action in addressing the concerns (given 21 days). If the action taken is deemed unsatisfactory, the Permanent Secretary may review the grant allocated to the concerned school, the approval and registration of the Education Authority, and the registration of the school (all of which may be withdrawn). In the case where an authority’s approval has been withdrawn, the MoEHRD may order the school to cease to operate or take over the school until the identified deficiencies have been addressed.
Tertiary ducation is provided by several state universities (such as a campus of the University of the South Pacific and the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education), and overseas universities and colleges. Non-state provision is mainly provided in several private or church-funded technical and vocational institutions.
Registration and approval: The higher education sector is regulated by the 2014 Education Act and the 2016 Tertiary Education and Skills Authority Act, with an established Tertiary Education and Skills Authority (under the MoEHRD) specifically responsible for the registration and administration of state and non-state providers. Applications for the registration of non-state institutions must be made to the Solomon Islands Qualifications Authority (with applicants being individuals or body corporates) (Education Act, 2014). The Solomon Islands Qualifications Authority assesses applications based on a developed quality assurance framework to determine whether providers meet the minimum standards. Providers then need to be accredited by the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority, which determines the minimum standards of the courses provided. by the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority, which determines the minimum standards of the courses provided. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
License: If the Solomon Islands Qualifications Authority is satisfied that the applicant meets the minimum requirements, a certificate of registration is issued (remaining valid for 5 years) is issued by the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority. Institutions are then required to apply to the Authority for the permission to use the terms “university”, “college”, “institute” or “certificate”, “degree”, and “diploma”.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: Following a consultation with the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority, the MoEHRD may make grants to registered TEIs based on the number of courses, student enrolment, location, fees levied, and educational outcomes (as set in the Tertiary Education Institution Grants Code). The grant received may include the payment of teacher salaries, while the TEC may additionally fund programs or scholarships that are targeted to meet labor demand.
Curriculum and education standards: All programs offered in state and non-state TEIs are required to be approved by the TEC and the Solomon Islands Qualifications Authority upon registration. TEIs must additionally apply for program accreditation with the Solomon Islands Qualifications Authority (which is granted based on whether the program meets the standards in the Solomon Islands Qualifications Framework).
Teaching profession: See Multi-level regulations.
Fee-setting: No information was found.
Admission selection and processes: No person may be refused admission or treated less favorably at a TEI based on his/her nationality, gender, race, language, disability, or pregnancy (Education Act, 2014). This provision may apply flexibly in the case of institutions established to cater to people of a specific disability.
Board: No information was found.
Reporting requirements: All institutions that receive aid from the state must report on their compliance with any grant conditions and performance standards set by the MoEHRD and the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority. Moreover, all providers are required to submit annual returns to the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority containing any information specified by written notice and pay their annual accreditation fee. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Inspection: The Solomon Islands Qualifications Authority may conduct an audit of a registered TEI at any time by entering the premises and inspecting any relevant documents and programs offered to determine whether standards are being maintained (Education Act, 2014). Moreover, providers may be required to furnish relevant information to the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority during the conduct of an audit.
Assessment: No information was found.
Diplomas and degrees: All TEIs are required to apply to the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority for the authority to grant degrees.
Sanctions: If any TEI fails to comply with the registration requirements, does not have the financial capacity or resources to operate a program, ceases to exist, or no longer provides the programs it had been accredited for, the Solomon Islands Qualifications Authority may suspend or cancel its registration. Where an institutional registration has been cancelled, the Authority may require the Tertiary Education and Skills Authority to take over the administration and operation of the institution until alternative arrangements have been made.
The following section covers regulations from early childhood to higher education level in the Solomon Islands, which are covered under the 2014 Education Act.
Registration and approval: Education Authorities which have been registered with the MoEHRD may provide education at all levels (from early childhood to tertiary). While education authorities may be individuals or organizations, they gain legal status by virtue of their registration.
Teaching profession: The Teaching Service Commission sets the minimum requirements (including educational qualifications and standards) for the registration of all teachers in the Solomon Islands (at all education levels) (Education Act, 2014).
Reporting requirements: All Education Authorities which receive grants from the state are required to keep proper accounting records of their finances and prepare annual financial statements (which must be made available for inspection upon request by the Permanent Secretary or authorized officer).
No information was found.
No information was found.
All teachers that are part of the Teaching Service are prohibited from “engaging in any paid employment or other work or operate any business outside the Teaching Service except with the prior agreement in writing of the education authority which administers the school in which the teacher is working” (Education Act, 2014). The 2011 Teaching Service Handbook additionally states that a teacher will be guilty of misconduct if they “engage in private business and other unofficial activities to the detriment of his/her professional obligations”, although in neither case is there a specific reference to private tutoring.