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 cyclone Katrina.
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.
Solomon Islands flag source: Countryaah.com
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 were implemented.