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By Winis Map

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 24) – The European Union plans to inject PGK156 million [US$53.8 million] in the next six years to support education and training in Papua New Guinea.

The European Union and the Papua New Guinea Government signed the agreement to seal the deal in Port Moresby yesterday.

Finance Minister Bart Philemon and Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia, the European Commission’s Head of Delegation in Papua New Guinea, signed the financing agreement to formally accept the latest grant from European Union to Papua New Guinea.

Mr. Philemon said the signing of the agreement would affect the immediate draw down of the funds allocated.

The funds will support the Education, Training and Human Resources Development Program to complement the government’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

He said the grant from European Union would help the Papua New Guinea government to ensure universal primary education by 2015 and eliminate gender disparities that is consistent with the national priorities formulated in the Medium Term Development Strategy (2005-2010) and in the National Education plan (2005-2014).

The grant will fund six main education and training programs. They are: Schools leadership and management program in basic education in pilot provinces; scholarship for teacher training for primary education in remote, rural communities; provision of textbooks and library materials for primary education; community-based and community-driven non-formal education; small-scale initiatives and ad hoc requests support; and qualitative studies and reports prepared to support the work of the five main components to supplement the available quantitative data.

Ambassador Dell’Ariccia said "The program is aimed at enhancing learning support mechanisms in Papua New Guinea over a six-year period."

February 24, 2006

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