MANILA, PHILIPPINES (4 December 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a financing package of $45.7 million to support the delivery of high-quality senior secondary education as well as build climate resilience and address gender inequality in Solomon Islands.
The financing package for the Senior Secondary Education Improvement Project comprises a concessional loan of $10 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and a grant of $35 million from the Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries.
“The Solomon Islands Senior Secondary Education Improvement Project will inject transformational changes into the school curriculum for levels 10-12, providing students with skills for continuous learning and boosting their prospects for future green and blue employment,” said ADB Senior Social Development Specialist Cindy Bryson.
The project includes a national professional development program for teachers and principals and a leadership and management program for aspiring female educators. It will update or construct facilities to meet climate-resilient standards at 10 schools, strengthen school-level management, and update procedures for reopening schools after disasters and during conflicts and pandemics. It will also pilot innovative activities to address the barriers that girls face.
Climate adaptation is estimated to cost $24.4 million, of which ADB will finance $23.7 million. Climate mitigation is estimated to cost $250,000, fully financed by ADB. The Ireland Trust Fund for Building Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Small Island Developing States will provide grant cofinancing equivalent to $700,000 to be administered by ADB.
Solomon Islands is highly vulnerable to disasters and climate change. The interconnection of climate change and poverty underscores the critical need to invest in adaptive and resilient human capital—including at the senior secondary level—to reduce vulnerability and pave the way for a just and inclusive transition to a climate-resilient economy.
Dropout rates in the country are very high. For every 100 children who start grade 1, fewer than 14 will graduate from secondary school. The curriculum taught in levels 10–12 has not been updated for more than 30 years. Inadequate school infrastructure results in overcrowded classrooms and dormitories and contributes to high dropout rates. Many schools lack running water and toilets. Many principals have insufficient leadership and management skills, understanding of climate change impacts, and inadequate capacity to create long-term school development and maintenance plans.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.