5 Feb 2004

New Zealand makes major contribution to Solomon Islands education

4:10 pm on 5 February 2004

The New Zealand aid minister, Marion Hobbs, has signed a letter of intent in Honiara for more than 7 million US dollars worth of aid to be directed towards helping boost the Solomon Islands education system.

Ms Hobbs has signed an agreement with the European Union and Solomon Islands to improve education there.

She says the money will be used to develop a strategic plan for education which will include teacher training and the reform of the curriculum.

Tens of millions of dollars are being made available to restore education services over the next three years, with the EU providing the bulk of the money.

The EU Aid Commissioner, Paul Nielson, says the EU is now in a position to release funds that were on hold since the ethnic unrest.

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza has commended both New Zealand and the EU for coming forward and helping his country.