The Kulu Language Institute is located at Qiloe, a small hamlet on the leeward side of central Ranongga near the larger village of Obobulu. The land was once a coconut plantation that belonged to Alowin Ketohebala and his siblings. In 2011, it was given to the Kulu Language Institute with the blessing of Alowin’s uncle, Chief Timote Nake and the Nake descendants association. The logo of the Kulu Language Institute depicts a sprouting nali nut, a reference to the verb tiro, which means read and search for nali nuts. The logo also depicts the process through which this initiative was given a place where it could take root and grow.
The preliminary course for non-readers (Book 0) and the first course for students with some literacy skills (Book 1) are offered in villages around Ranongga by teachers who travel to run the one-week classes. The other three classes (Book 2, 3, 4) are held on the Qiloe campus. Courses are scheduled when ten or twenty people are prepared to enroll. News is circulated by word of mouth and, increasingly, mobile telephone and Facebook.
As of late 2020, the school at the Kulu Language Institute campus is led by Principal Reuben Pae, a retired high school teacher. He is assisted by Deputy Principal Samuel Bakson, Account Manager John Poa Lokapitu, and Grounds Manager Nathan Manoa. Glorida Madikolo is a regular teacher of all levels of the Luqa curriculum, as is Aldrin Apusae, who is also part of the Kubokota New Testament translation team. [Zo to update personel]. Teachers first work as apprentices, helping the experienced teachers. Those who show promise go to Honiara to study with Zobule at his Islands Bible Institute, a multi-demonational Bible school focused on Biblical exegisis and modern and ancient languages. Recently, teachers have begun to be paid a small stipend for their efforts, but much of the work is on a volunteer basis. The work of the Institute is financially supported by the Zobule family, especially Tiani Zobule who manages a small rest house in a Honiara suburb.
Kulu students pay fees of SBD$200–$400 (about USD $25–50) per book, an amount that covers the cost of the books themselves and a contribution to the cost of their food for the one or two weeks they stay at Qiloe. Staples like rice, flour, tea and sugar are supplemented by vegetables grown on the Institute’s gardens on the campus and on additional garden plots inland donated by the landowners at Qiloe. Staff and students alike work on these gardens, and cooperate in preparation of meals and care of the grounds. The wife of the principal makes an important contribution to the well-being of staff and students, often overseeing meal preparation and pastoral care, and women of Qiloe and nearby hamlets help in supporting the school and students.
The buildings of the campus have not quite kept up with the increasing numbers of classes and students. There are now two main classrooms, two teachers houses, a men’s dorm and female dorm, a small store that with rooms for teachers, and a small dining house. Teachers sometimes stay in dorms, and students may stay with teachers; classes are held on verandas and under raised buildings. The campus still lacks a direct water supply, a priority in the development plan. The Ranongga Simbo Member of Parliamnent has donated some materials for the campus, but it is also funded by school fees, donations, and voluntary labor.