There is no compulsory schooling in the Solomon Islands.
Approximately 2/3 of the children aged 6-12 attend the
six-year primary school. From there, about 30% of pupils go
on to secondary school, which comprises 3 + 2 years. In
rural areas, this usually has a focus on agriculture. For
occupations such as teaching and technical work there is
higher education, and in Honiara there is a branch of The
University of the South Pacific, but theoretically oriented
university studies must be placed abroad.
Of the population over 15 in 1991, 62% of men and 45% of
women were literate.
In September 1997, Bartholomew Ulufa 'alu was appointed
new Prime Minister. He announced the forest industry
nationalized and initiated investigations into the funds the
previous government had invested in development projects. In
December, the country's currency devalued by 20% and
consumer prices rose.
In October, Solomon Mamaloni replaced Job Duddley as
leader of the opposition. The economy was hit by the crisis
in Asia, the fall in world market prices for timber, the
continuing drought in the country and the aftermath of the
A series of ethnic clashes in the first half of 1999
shook the islands. The Guadalcanal Liberation Front (the
largest island in the archipelago) launched a fight against
Malaita residents controlling the power structures of
Honiara. Prime Minister Ulufa'alu who also comes from a
family in Malaita guaranteed that $ 500,000 would be
transferred to the local government on Guadalcanal to help
the island meet the expenses associated with the capital's
location on this island.
In June, Fiji's former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka was
appointed mediator in the conflict, and he succeeded in
getting the parties to sign an agreement. According to this,
the members of the liberation front must hand over their
weapons to the local mayors and dissolve their organization.
In return, a number of financial compensation benefits were
to be provided to the inhabitants of the country's largest
island, and these should be distributed over the following 6
months. Some months a peace agreement was concluded between
the parties to be monitored by Australia and New Zealand.
In December 2001, Allan Kemakeza assumed the post of
Prime Minister, after being elected by Parliament. Australia
declared that it would not provide financial assistance to
Solomon until comprehensive political and economic reforms