Batuna Rural Training Centre in the Western Province was supported with 20 student laptops and associated accessories through Australia’s increased investment in skills strengthening in the Solomon Islands through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
The handover was part of Australia’s commitment to strengthen the national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector, and support the Solomon Islands National Skills Packages piloted with seven national training providers.
The APTC Country Director for Solomon Islands and Kiribati, Abigail Chang, presented the laptops to Batuna Rural Training Centre Principal, Ibi Drelly on 5 October 2021. The new ICT equipment complements an earlier contribution of a boat and engine handed over by the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Dr Lachlan Strahan.
“APTC recognises and values the role of Rural Training Centres such as Batuna to help equip students with appropriate knowledge and practical skills for self-sufficiency, productivity and responsible citizenship within the rural communities in the Western Province,” Ms Chang said.
She added that APTC will continue to strengthen the capability of national TVET providers, including expanding partnerships with members of the Solomon Islands Association of Vocational Rural Training Centres.
Mr Drelly said the brand-new laptops and associated accessories, as well as the boat and engine, will contribute to Batuna’s efficient training delivery of the national pilot deliveries of the Certificate III Carpentry and Construction and the Certificate III Agribusiness.
“We are thrilled to witness another milestone handover of 20 laptops and associated accessories. This contribution from the Australian Government has motivated my administration to be confident in the work we do. We are looking forward to working closely with APTC towards strengthening skills training for young people of the Solomon Islands,” he said.
“The new ICT equipment will support the training delivery of the agribusiness, automotive and construction courses delivered at Batuna Rural Training Centre. It will add value to the important work we are doing in helping transform the lives of our young people by improving access to TVET,” he added.
APTC is Australia’s flagship TVET program in the Pacific and Timor-Leste. Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has trained over 2,000 Solomon Islanders, of whom, 921 are women.