TERTIARY EDUCATION IS A PRIVILEGE, PNG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TOLD

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By Peter Korugl

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 21, 2000 –The National)---There are insufficient places in tertiary education institutions in Papua New Guinea and those students who are offered places in the state universities should regard this as a privilege, said a senior education administrator, the National reports.

University of Technology Vice Chancellor Dr. James Kaiulo said enrollments in primary and high schools are high and the number of Grade 12 leavers has increased following the establishment of top-up secondary schools.

"Even with the establishment of two additional state universities, there are still insufficient facilities for increasing the student intake," he said.

Dr. Kaiulo quoted enrollment figures in the lower and higher education institutions released by the National Department of Education, to emphasize his point.

The university's in-house newsletter, The Reporter, quoted him as saying that "according to the estimates of the National Department of Education, there are about 858,000 students enrolled in primary and secondary schools in Papua New Guinea this year.

"Let us assume that in 1987 there were 600,000 students enrolled in primary and high schools.

"Out of these, only about 9,000 students will undertake tertiary studies in 2000 and this represents a mere 1.4 per cent.

"In other words, out of every 67 children enrolled in schools in 1987, only one obtained higher education 12 years later."

In addition, after-hours classes are not possible due to the law and order problems, thus limiting the type of non-award courses the universities can offer. This further denies educational opportunities at the tertiary level.

He stressed to the students that to undertake tertiary studies is one path of human development that is correctly regarded as a privilege in Papua New Guinea.

"I strongly concur with this view," he said, adding that students are there to study and that should be their paramount objective at the end of each day.

He said students, however, should balance their study load with social activities such as sports.

Title -- 2619 EDUCATION: PNG tertiary education 'is a privilege' Date -- 21 March 2000 Byline -- Peter Korugl Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- The National (PNG), 21/3/00 Copyright -- The National Status -- Unabridged

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