Community School - Solomon

Report on the progress of Brilliant star School at Tabuariki neighborhood from 2011 to 2014.
Introduction
Brilliant star community school was started in the year 2011, after Tabuariki neighborhood in Guadalcanal cluster experienced a program of growth in its neighborhood. The initiative emerged after a growing number of children’s classes evolved after the community embarked on the expansion of Baha’i children’s classes. The initiative was made in response to the needs of the population for mainstream education as parents of children attending children classes and junior youths program were expressing the need for their children to attend formal education as a significant number of children and junior youths living in the area were deprived of formal education because of financial difficulties and Government schools were located far from them.
Initialization and History
The school was initiated by a local couple with their 3 children settling at Tabuariki as neighborhood home front pioneers with collaboration with the Baha’i community and the wider community of interest. This settlement happened after an international pioneer from Papua New Guinea settled in the Tabuariki community and started carrying out meaningful conversations and resulted in enrolling a good number of Baha’is residing at the community, and attracting quite a few friends from the community of interest in to the institute process and proceeding through the entire sequence. As a result the institute participants became active agents of spiritual and social change in the community resulting in reaching out in to the neighborhood and having more meaningful conversations about the importance of the spiritual education of children.
2011
These conversations resulted in a drastic growth of children’s classes in the community of interest in a short span of time. Teams of children’s class teachers were mobilized in to 7 different locations in the neighborhood. As children classes grade one continued to operate, further conversations and observations held by teaching teams with receptive population shows that the most desperate need in the neighborhood is formal education. Government schools were located far and transportation is very unreliable, and as a result large populations of children in the area are not attending mainstream
schools. The parents continuously express their desire if this service could be provided. This expression was heard for almost a year, and specific approaches were made to the couple pioneers if they could start teaching the children and a piece of land was allocated by the indigenous land owners. After further consultation and contemplation, the pioneer who is a teacher by profession together with his wife and few other Baha’I friends decided to take on the task with these visions
Visions
1. Name the school Brilliant star, because so many children had memorized the Abdul-Baha prayer….O God guide me, protect me, illumine the lamp of my heart and make me a Brilliant star…..”I was full of vision and hope as I observed the children prayerfully recite this prayer….their souls are full of longing to be brilliant stars……”
2. To have a Baha’i early childhood school, primary school, and secondary school, that facilitate Baha’I educational materials and other form of higher quality materials that would assist the younger population in the micro-region to become effective protagonists. To understand the importance of service. To manifest the qualities of spiritual and intellectual excellence and be like brilliant stars in their communities and society.
3. To facilitate the study of the holy writings to the younger population.
4. Creating an avenue where a population of young people progresses seamlessly through children classes, junior youth and the sequences of courses in school alongside the Solomon Islands government educational curriculum, and they become empowered to serve their communities.
5. An arena that capacity of children class teachers and junior youth animators be enhanced in Tabuariki in sector 13 and serving alongside each other.
6. An arena of expression where the population of parents and youth would express themselves and learn to take charge of their physical and spiritual development.
7. To establish a network and ongoing conversation with parents to raise awareness on the potential of the community to be able to transform themselves through raising the intellectual and spiritual capacity of the population, especially the younger population.
Goals and Projections
1. To acquire a quality/Baha’i curriculum to be facilitated for early childhood and primary school intellectual and spiritual development.
2. To built permanent infrastructures to house classrooms and offices/libraries and halls through community contributions other and organizations.
3. Receive training for its teachers to build capacity
4. To strengthen its financial and management system
Physical developments
The initializing of the school was very basic as children learn under trees and houses, until the community decided to build a classroom.
2011
The building was used for an early childhood classroom. After further conversations with the parents, other classrooms were built using local materials with assistance of the pioneers. The number of children enrolled were 15 in year 2012. Mostly very young children, and a kindy was formed. The number than grows to sixty the following year 2013. In year 2014 the number drastically increased to 145 children with 5 teachers currently teaching at the school. As the needs arise, buildings were constructed.
Bush material buildings constructed by parents at end of year 2012
Parents after session of work 2012 term closing 2012
2013/newly constructed leaf hut buildings currently in use.
2013 Desks donated by Rotary organization
Class school Assembly 2013
2014
School assembly 2014
School devotional meetings 2014.
Parent’s consultation
Parents support at the school was very good. Meeting held at the school resulted in erecting of a school board, consisting of 9 members, comprising of a chairman, vice chairman, secretary, treasurer, and 5 members. The school board met and identifies the needs of the school interms of how to meet the needs of the teachers and children. The challenge the school board faces is finance as government funds are not accessible, and the remuneration of teachers is an ongoing challenge. Buildings too are a challenge as not enough funds to construct new classrooms are faced.
Spiritual Education/children classes
Junior youth program at the school
Junior youth consultation group study
Artistic
Dance and songs
Junior youth Service projects (2014)
Classroom beautification
Learning to manufacture virgin coconut oil
Brilliant star junior youth Agricultural peanut planting project (current project)
Brilliant star junior youth ecological camp (June 2014)

Curriculum
The educational process started plainly with children class materials, which is still fostered at the school today. As children progress through the 3 years and additional classes were initiated, Ruhi kindy was introduced and found it very effective, a year later Baha’i elementary was introduced in grade one, from Baha’i elementary schools in Papua New Guinea and Rays of light foundation. At one point, nurturing young mind, a text from the PSA program was introduced to build capacity of teachers as well as the children in 2013. As senior classes in the primary level were introduced in 2014, we bought some of the Government curriculum and started introducing it to grades 2, 3 and 5. It is still a challenge to the school as there are not enough resource materials per head because of the cost that involves in getting sets of these materials. The junior youth program and the materials has become a major component of the development of the upper grades and dramatically shows brilliant result. Parents have been very positive about the development of their youngsters. The program is on Monday to Friday weekly with book study, arts, service, consultations, and sporting activities. There are 3 groups operating in the school, but depending on the availability of the neighborhood animators. There are 32 youngsters progressing through the program in the school.
Teachers
Children class teachers
The Local spiritual assembly of Tabuariki is supporting the development of children classes in the school
By mobilizing 5 children class teachers to do service. The number of children attending children classes is well above 100 children representing a fare population of the micro-region. There are total of six children classes operating in the school on Wednesdays weekly. On occasions junior youths were assistant children class teachers as well. After the sessions of children classes, teachers would normally have a period of reflections, and identify the challenges and made progresses.
Academic teachers
There were five teachers serving at the school. These individuals are all residence in the neighborhood that have decided to do this act after conversations on the need of the population. One of these five teachers is a Government trained teacher; the other 4 are highly motivated for service and shared the common goal. 2 are very experienced children class teachers and have been through some level of education and experience that exhibit excellent quality for teaching; the other 2 are friends of the faith with great experiences, and level of education that manifests exceptional qualities for the task.
Remarks
1. Parents sending their children to Brilliant star school are fully aware and appreciate the community building efforts that are supervised and lead by the Baha’I human resources and community.
2. Baha’I Holy days are fully observed at the school.
3. Parents are very impressive of the character developments and Baha’i prayers that children are learning at the school.
4. More of likeminded individuals living in the neighborhood who are friends of the faith are expressing interest to be part of the community development.
5. The school still remain a community initiative up to this day and hasn’t been registered as a government recognized development in that micro- region
6. The Local spiritual assembly of Tabuariki formed in 2012 is supporting the development of the Brilliant star school. Some members of the local spiritual assembly are supervising the developments of the school both in the academic developments as teachers and as members on the school board.
7. Current financial strength of the school comes from the contributions paid from parents on termly bases for 4 terms. This contribution is used to support the 5 teachers that are sacrificially giving their time and effort weekly to teach the children. The contribution is SBD100.00 per head. This amount is agreed upon in consideration of the financial earnings of the parents that send their children to the school.
This comprehensive documentation is prepared by the Local Spiritual Assembly and the Baha’I community of Tabuariki on Guadalcanal cluster four.