Talanga: Exploring education for good citizenship in the Solomon Islands
Date: April, 08, 2014 09:35 Age: 4 yrs
Talanaga: The School of Education Seminar Series
Presenter: Mr Billy Fitoo, PHD Candidate, Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.
Citizenship Education in a Small Island State: Exploring education for good citizenship in the Solomon Islands
Citizenship Education is a feature of policies in many nation states including Small Island States in the Pacific and Education is viewed as a way of delivering this goal. The new initiative on the vision and goals of Education in the Solomon Islands (SI) is an example of this. The vision and goals of Education in SI is for all people to “develop as individuals and possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to earn a living and to live in harmony with others and their environment… The country ...envisage a united and progressive society in which all can live in peace and harmony with fair and equitable opportunities for a better life” (Education Strategic Framework, 2007 – 15 : 11). Such national educational intentions are expected to be facilitated by civic/citizenship education programs organized for the country.
This study explores the perspective of people of Solomon Islands on good citizenship and how they are participating and living as good citizens. The study draws from current behaviours found common among people with the goals and achievable outcomes documented in the formal school curriculum. The conceptual and theoretical framework underpinning this study is based on the argument of aligning education and curriculum of Pacific Islands to their context culture (Thaman, 2009). The Pacific Islands’ education need to be more inclusive of students and their home culture and second, for the curriculum to better reflect the need of Pacific people (Thaman, 2009: Kabini,2004: Taufa’ulungaki, 2002).
Participants in this research are selected from four case study schools, Government officials and one rural community in the Solomon Island. These include students and teachers of four case study schools and teachers purposefully selected from other schools, government officials from four different government ministries and rural village elders from one rural community. The purposeful selection of participants have provided information that comes from people’s feelings, actions, practices and experiences. This has opened up new and relatively unexplored landscapes of involvement and through the participants’ experiences of how they live their lives and participate in the formal and informal activities, it seemingly provide useful proposition for the study. In addition, through their identification of political, social and environmental issues that are affecting them, it is possible to see the values that are relevant for the citizenship education program needed for Solomon Islands.
Monday 14 April, 1-2pm, FALE meeting room