Professional development for teachers at a Solomon Islands school has been significantly enhanced with the installation of internet technology.
Tagibangara Adventist Primary School, in north-east Choiseul, has benefited from a $Si200,000 school improvement project launched on May 4. The project includes the installation of a VSAT satellite internet dish, powered by a solar system. Internet and wireless services are now provided using a Ubiquity Dream Router (UDR), while a 42-inch smart TV and a webcam have also been installed.
The school improvement project was launched and dedicated by retired pastor Lawrence Tanabose, a former general secretary for the South Pacific Division. It was a moving experience for all teachers, students and local communities to watch the launch of the project via Zoom, with the Trans Pacific Union Mission education director Mere Vaihola thanking Tagibangara communities for their “commendable teamwork”. One of the teachers expressed her sincere thanks to the project’s donors with tears of joy for such a worthwhile and timely initiative.
The installation of the technology follows a school needs assessment conducted in January, which identified key priority areas for improvement, including the need for professional development to promote quality teaching and learning. Committed Adventist educators, the Northeast Choiseul Constituency and local Tagibangara communities worked together over the past three months towards the implementation of the school improvement project.
Under the leadership of Dr Elisapesi Manson, a consultant for Adventist Schools, the project aims to provide a series of online professional development workshops on effective teaching practices for rural contexts, online resources to promote Adventist ethos in student learning, and digital support with training providers in the region such as Fulton Adventist University College.
The initiative is part of the Trans Pacific Union Mission’s Quality Adventist Schools Framework (QASF), which is aimed at promoting Adventist identity and ethos. Rural schools such as Tagibangara have faced significant challenges to implement QASF due to increasing numbers of untrained teachers, limited access to teaching and learning resources, poor financial support, lack of effective communication and collaboration, and limited professional development opportunities.