EDUCATION A DEAD END FOR MANY IN PNG

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By Nikints Tiptip

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 26) – Papua New Guinea’s educational system is forcing many grade twelve students to leave school because there are limited spaces in colleges and universities.

University of Goroka deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Musawe Sinabare said since the education reform was introduced, about 20,000 grade 12 students have graduated and have nowhere to go.

"This is a political crisis and as a parent it is sad to see parents pay big amounts of school fees for their children up to grade 12 and miss out on selection for further studies," he said.

Citing the university’s intake as an example, Dr Sinebare explained that of the 1,000 applicants, it was only able to recruit 176 students due to limited space.

Each year the university produces 300 to 400 teachers, which, is not enough to meet the teacher demand in the country, said Dr Sinebare.

He suggested that if the government wants to improve the primary and secondary education sectors, they should look at improving the tertiary and technical vocational institutions.

Dr Sinebare also called on the government to get its priorities right before implementing the reform program.

He said the government needed to build more dormitories to increase bed spaces to measure the increase in student demand.

Meanwhile, the university has taken up local advertisements, asking the surrounding community to provide accommodation to students to live off campus, he said.

This year about 1,700 students are living off campus.

April 27, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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