For students of Garanga Primary School, West Maringe, Isabel, a dona- tion of a set of desks is a huge boost to their school and education. And for 14-year-old Pa- mela Madeline, since the new desks arrived last year, she has not missed a day at- tending school. “Sitting on a proper desk made a huge difference compared to when we used to sit around those unbal- anced home-made table to write,” the grade four stu- dent, said. “So when these new desks arrived and set up in our classroom, I’ve never missed a day attending school because it’s more comfortable to sit here and look at our teachers,” she added. Her classmates agreed with her. Silas Akwai, a 14-year- old student from the near- by village, said he too en- joyed using the next desks as compared to the previ- ous years.
“We use homemade ta- bles before these desks were here,” he said. Akwai added although the home-made tables were not comfortable, they have no choice. “Now with the new desk, it is every day that I come to class and it also helps me to do my studies properly on these desks.” Madeline and Akwai thanked the donors for the desks. They however, wanted a permanent building to re- place the one made from bush materials if there is a funding available for that. The 12 desks that were supplied to the Garanga Primary School have been funded under the Provin- cial Government Strength- ening Programme (PGSP). The programme is sup- ported by the European Union (EU), the United Na- tions Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), United Nations Development Pro- gram (UNDP), the Austra- lian Government through RAMSI, and the national government.
PGSP aims to develop the capacity of the Minis- try of Provincial Govern- ment and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) and the nine provincial governments to fulfil their mandates in either deliver- ing, or coordinating with line departments for the ef- fective delivery of services. It is a 15-year project be- ing implemented in three phases of five years with the goal of the reducing poverty in the rural areas and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Solo- mon Islands. Garanga Primary School was re-started in 2011 by the school headmistress Mary Advent and her hus- band, who works at the Ga- ranga Vocational Training Centre as a chaplain. Mrs Advent said someone started the school previ- ously but due to some is- sues, was closed down. When she came to Ga- ranga with her husband, she decided to restart the school.
The school comprised of two buildings made from bush materials. It has two classrooms in each building that served as the preparatory, grade one, two, three and four. The desks were used in grade three and four class- rooms. The headmistress said she has seen the academic performances of the stu- dents improved since they have used the new desks. “The students improved in their writing and their attendances also improved. “The desks made a huge different to the environ- ment in the classroom,” Ms Advert said. She said two students shared a desk. She thanked the donors for the support and looks forward to the continuous support in years to come. Meanwhile, one of the only three teachers at the school, Joycebel Tonaha has seen the benefits of having the new desks. “The study habits of the students have now im- proved. “Apart from the desks, we also need assistance for other resources such as chalks, table for teachers, chairs, crayons, books, pen- cils and pens.” She added that the desks are not enough as the num- ber of students is slowly in- creasing. The school currently has an intake of 80 students.