EDUCATION MINISTER MUKI TARANUPI BLAMED FOR PNG HIGHER EDUCATION COLLAPSE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 10, 1999 - Post-Courier/Abridged)---Former Chairman of the Commission for Higher Education, Dr. Mosley Moramoro, says the higher education sector in the country has collapsed and current Education Minister Muki Taranupi and the Government were responsible for the mess.

"Whether the Minister likes it or not, the higher education sector in PNG has collapsed and he will go down in history as the Minister who presided over this demise,'' Dr. Moramoro said.

"Whether I am or somebody else is chairman, is not the issue. The issue is that he is the Minister responsible and the onus is on him, on behalf of the Government, to fix the higher education problem.

"I believe that Dr. Kerema is not the person to fix this problem. It has to be somebody who has sound and proven academic and administrative experience in the higher education sector, who can help this country restore some standing in the higher education sector.

"If University of Papua New Guinea and University of Technology are not holding classes and the Vudal and Goroka universities have been reduced to mere schools and the teachers, agriculture and nursing colleges are existing only by name, is this not a collapse of the higher education system in this country? Maybe the Minister is not paying any attention to what is happening around him.''

Dr. Moramoro said by not holding classes at Unitech, UPNG, and other colleges, the country will have an extra 4,500 unemployed young people.

"They cannot contribute because the Minister and his Government are hell bent on truncating funding to higher education institutions. These are 4,500 young people who are supposed to ensure that this country has a future. Current trends indicate that with the demise of the higher education sector, we do not have a future,'' he said.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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