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Our youth champions are preparing to present their open letter, with signatures of support from thousands of Australians, to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education.

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SCHOOL FEES ARE PREVENTING GIRLS FROM COMPLETING THEIR EDUCATION

“no money, no education”

Girls in the Solomon Islands know how important it is to get a good education. It’s critical to getting a good job and being able to contribute to their family and community.

But many girls are missing out.

Education is expensive - especially in senior secondary school where fees increase dramatically. Families who are struggling face hard choices and it’s often girls who get left behind. With boys’ education often prioritised, too often girls have to drop out of school to work or look after their siblings, while their brothers get to finish high school.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

Our youth champions are calling on their government to break the barriers to girls’ education by ending school fees. Let’s get girls back to school and on to a brighter future.

The Solomon Islands government has Fee Free Education up until the end of year 9 but it doesn’t cover senior secondary (10-12), making costs increase dramatically. It makes it so difficult for families that only 7 in 100 girls complete senior secondary school.

Girls in the Solomon Islands are calling on their government to extend the Fee Free Education Policy to year 12 and work with schools to eliminate any gap fees to give all girls the best chance to complete their education.

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.

MEET OUR YOUTH Champions

“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 with us.

Stand for equality.”


Youth Champions Elizabeth, Aroma, Katrina, Margareth and Elima

 

Group campaigners_1

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.

Youth Champions Elizabeth, Aroma, Katrina, Margareth and Elima

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.

 

Sign the open letter