The girls participating in this Plan International research project identified school fees as the biggest barrier stopping girls from accessing and completing secondary education in the Solomon Islands.
Read more about what they have to say, in the research report, Stronger Together.
“We care about this issue because it affects many girls in the Solomon Islands.
We care about it because making change would help young women and girls to have a mindset of not giving up, because we would know everyone cares for and respects us, and especially that they value our education.
We care about it because all girls have the right to be educated, especially so we can have jobs in the future.
The biggest barrier stopping girls from getting to and completing secondary school is school fees. We want these to be eradicated, and for there to be a Fund for Girls that helps schools be more inclusive.
Above all, we want you to respect adolescent girls and listen to what we have to say. We want there to be gender equality in Solomon Islands – and especially for all girls to be able to be in and complete secondary school so that we can be role models and leaders of the future.
Stand for equality.”
Youth Champions Elizabeth, Aroma, Katrina, Margareth and Elima
Elizabeth, Aroma, Katrina, Margareth and Elima know the value of education. Elizabeth and Elima are both studying at university after completing their secondary education and Aroma, Katrina and Margaret have big dreams for when they finish school.
These youth champions were part of a group of 60 adolescent girls and young women who participated in the photovoice project to address the low numbers of girls completing secondary education. Together they identified the barriers standing in their way and the changes needed to help girls’ complete secondary education. Their final report, Stronger Together, contains a series of photos that powerfully communicate the challenges they are up against and their recommendations for change.
The youth champions all have friends who’ve had to drop out of school, often because their families couldn’t afford the school fees. They are all too familiar with the barriers outlined in the Stronger Together research . And they want to see change. They have a vision for a future where all girls have the chance to go through and complete their education. A future where girls and young women can succeed and help build a better and brighter for everyone in the Solomon Islands.
They’re asking the Solomon Islands Government to extend fee-free education to senior secondary school and to support schools to eliminate gap fees. By adding your name in support of their letter you can ensure their voices are heard by the Solomon Islands Ministry for Education and Human Resource Development and by the largest donor to Solomon Islands education, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.