This paper is intended to inform readers about the use of on-line learning in rural Solomon Islands. The Distance Learning Centre Project is still in its early stages of implementation and therefore, this paper is not intended to provide a rigorous evaluation of the project or to assess student attainments. The objective of the project was to improve access to quality education in rural communities. The implementation of the project was funded by European Union and New Zealand Aid. There are nine Distance Learning Centres currently running and are located in rural communities across the country. The centres were equipped with network services, solar power and learning technologies. The learning technologies were hooked onto the network with six laptop computers in each centre. There were 15 courses offered on-line using the synchronous tuition tools. Observing the first year of the project, some practical issues and concerns are examined that relates to empowerment and access to quality education. The paper concludes with reflections on the issues of adequacy, practicality of teaching technical and vocational skills on-line, future sustainability, the importance of follow up and the need for further research to investigate the pertinent issues highlighted in this paper.
|Keywords:||Distance Learning, Learning Technologies, On-line Learning, Distance Learning Centres, Solomon Islands|
PhD Candidate, School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Care Service Employee, Ningana, Autumn Lodge Village Incorporated, Armidale, NSW, Australia
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