People’s Survey 2009 – education in Solomons

It is hard to find current, good quality data in Solomons so we should be grateful for the wealth of annual data published in the People’s Survey.

This post, which will hopefully be the first of a series of blogs on the People’s Survey 2009, focuses on education levels in Solomons. My reading of the data is that there is some modest good news.

1. Young are better educated than their parents

The first good news story is that young people are receiving more education than their parents did (Table 1). According to the Survey, those aged less than 30 have completed an average of 7.9 years at school whereas those aged 30 or more have an average of 6.4 years – a gap of 1.5 years.

Table 1: Average years of education by age and gender


Note: author’s calculations based on Tables 1.2 and 1.5 of the Survey.

This conclusion is supported by related data on the number of people who have completed primary, secondary or post-secondary education (Table 2). This data was divided into two age groups:

  • “Youths”: all interviewees aged less than 25 years PLUS unmarried interviewees aged 25-29 years.
  • “Adults”: all interviewees aged 30+ years PLUS married interviewees aged 25-29 years.

Consistent with the previous data, more than three-in-five youths (61.5%) reported that they had completed secondary school or better. By contrast, only 35% of “adults” had had the same opportunity.

Table 2: Highest level of education achieved by age


Note: author’s calculations based on Table 1.4 of the Survey.

2. Education gender gap seems to be narrowing

The second piece of good news is that the gap between men and women appears to be narrowing (Table 1 again). For men and women aged less than 30, the gap in average years of schooling is 0.9 years. For their older counterparts, the gap is 1.6 years. Again, this is supported by the data on the highest level of education achieved (data not shown here – see Table 1.4 of the Survey).

3. Provinces: education levels vary considerably

The third point to note is that there are some surprising differences between the provinces (Table 3). Malaita, Guadalcanal and Choiseul appeared to have lower education levels on average. In Malaita, 15.9% of interviewees said they had never attended school (compared to a national average of 8.0%). And primary school was the highest education level for most interviewees in Guadalcanal (57.5%) and Choiseul (56.1%). By contrast, Isabel (67.4%) and Temotu (65.1%) both had high levels of secondary and post-secondary education compared to the national average (52.3%).

Table 3: Highest level of education achieved by age


Note: author’s calculations based on Table 1.4 of the Survey.

Technical Notes and Data

The People’s Survey 2009 reports the results of 5,035 interviews conducted in 7 provinces. More details on the survey techniques used and the demographic characteristics of the interview subjects are set out in pp.9-14 and 76-81.

The figures reported in this post are my own calculations based on the data reported in Tables 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5. These tables summarise the answers to question 1(e) of the Survey. The data and calculations are available here.

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One Response to “People’s Survey 2009 – education in Solomons”

  1. Stephen Lawrence Says:

    nice blog harry, keep the posts coming, i will read with interest.

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