There was much joy and excitement at the dedication of a new Adventist school in Central Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, on May 18.
Many locals came to celebrate the dedication service for Patpaele Adventist Secondary School in the western Solomons. The service was organised by Central Kolombangara district leader Pastor Kele Hana. Among the attendees was Solomon Islands Mission education director Billy Leta. Dedicatory prayers were offered by pastors Vince David, Mockson Wale and Piuki Tasa.
The opening of the boarding school has received widespread support from local youth groups, church and community leaders, church members, government and church education authorities, and landowners within Central Kolombangara.
The school includes a main classroom building, four staff houses, a staff/students’ kitchen and temporary toilets, all built within a year. The Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development provided financial assistance to build two dormitories. A generator and electrical equipment was donated by a Solomon Islands education support team in Australia, led by Pastor Ray Eaton, Pastor Alex Currie and Brett Partridge. The Australian team are also providing desks and chairs for the students. Three 2000-litre water tanks were donated by Gizo/Kolombangara MP Lanelle Tanangada.
The new school commenced with 33 students and four teaching staff, including the principal Alson Vavozo. One of the urgent needs is for permanent sanitation facilities for staff and students. Currently, the students are using pit toilets while staff use a pour-flush toilet. Kitchen and dining hall facilities for the students are also needed along with a permanent kitchen for teachers.
The school administration is now planning an official opening for the school.