The education Pacific Islands children deserve: The Learn and Play Project in the Solomon Islands


  • Jack Maebuta University of New England


The Learn and Play Project was initiated by Solomon Islands Football Federation and aimed at educating and providing football skills training for primary school dropouts. The aim of this paper is to report the implementation of the programme in a case study school. Because the project is still being implemented, this paper is not intended to provide a rigorous evaluation of the project’s activities. Rather, this case study research investigates the students’ perception of the project. The key findings of the study include improvements in students’ confidence, self-esteem and academic performance. The project also has motivated the students to face the future with hope and determination and they have set future plans which are aligned to the vision of the project. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for policy, practice and further research.

Author Biography

Jack Maebuta, University of New England

Jack Maebuta is a Pacific Islands Research Fellow at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program within the College of Asia and the Pacific, School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, Australian National University, Australia. He has recently submitted his PhD thesis at the University of New England, Australia, under an Australian Leadership Award Scholarship. His PhD research is focused on the role of education in peace-building in Solomon Islands. In 2010, Jack was also awarded the Australian Prime Minister’s Pacific-Australia Award. His research interests are in the areas of technical and vocational education and training, educational policy and practice, rural education, curriculum and peace-building.