The Solomon Islands are located to the northeast of Australia and just east of Papua New Guinea. They consist of almost a thousand islands covering nearly 11,000 square miles. The capital is located in Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal. In the 1890s the United Kingdom established a protectorate over the islands. Self-government was eventually established in 1976. Two years later independence was granted. For the remainder of the Twentieth Century ethnic violence, crime and government misconduct created an unstable and uncivil society. In June of 2003 the Prime Minister of the islands asked Australia for assistance in reestablishing law and order and in the following month the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), an Australian led multinational task force, arrived with a mission to restore peace and disarm the ethnic militia. The RAMSI has been largely successful in rebuilding the government and continues to operate in the Solomons.
The official language of the islands is English but only 1 - 2% of the islands 595,613 inhabitants speak it. There are another 120 indigenous languages spoken. The literacy rate of the islands is unknown.
The educational system is based upon that of The United Kingdom.