Shifting policy perspectives and practices: From access to basic education to prioritizing revenue collection
School leaders in Solomon Islands have shifted away from the basic education policy that promotes equitable access to quality basic education to practices that target high enrolment to generate revenue. This research highlights the implications of this shift and its impact on quality education. It aims at finding the balance between the school’s financial viability and the imperative to provide equitable and quality education for all children. The following questions are examined: 1) What are the different types of fees charged for educating a child in Solomon Islands; 2) Are schools enrolling students in numbers that match the infrastructure and human resources available locally? 3) Are the grants provided by the government adequate to administer schools? The significance of the study lies in its potential to inform education policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders about the consequences of this changing agenda. Parent experiences on fees charged, school children and teacher’s experiences on the impacts of high enrolments are explored. School Leaders rationale for charging different types of fees were sought. A total of 12 participants were involved in this research. Data collected via tok stori were recorded and subsequently transcribed, qualitatively analyzed and thematically organized. Data showed that schools in the capital, Honiara, experienced high school enrolment, putting pressure on the limited infrastructures available and overloading teachers. Apart from normal fees, schools charged various fees for registration, school development, church program, parent contributions and student transfer. The study provides important insights into the challenges posed by the shifting perspective and practices towards prioritizing revenue collection over access through increased student enrollment.
Copyright (c) 2023 Grace Rohoana
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives is the official journal of the Oceania Comparative and International Education Society. The IEJ, (ISSN 1443-1475), publishes a general volume bi-annually in July and December and also publishes Special Editions occasionally. It is a free, open-access scholarly journal, managed by volunteers. There are no article processing charges, or any charges to authors.
In relation to intellectual property, as of 2020, the IEJ: CP claims only first publication rights; copyright of all work published in the journal remains with the authors under Creative Commons copyright license CC-BY-ND (4.0). Author(s) retain all rights to their works, ensuring that reference to the International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives is clearly stated on any copies made or distribution. Submissions must not involve third parties with a claim to copyright, and be the sole work of the author(s). It is the responsibility of the author(s) to secure permission to reproduce photographs, illustrations, figures or tables. Single images, tables or figures can be re-used . If more than a single image or table are to be re-used authors must attribute first publication to IEJ: CP notify the IEJ: CP Editor. Authors may also make derivative works which are subject to these limitations.
See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/ for more detail.
Re-distributed or used material must be referenced to the International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives.