PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Aug. 22) - Tomorrow one of Papua New Guinea’s oldest technical colleges will celebrate its 60th anniversary of training young Papua New Guineans in various trades.

The Port Moresby Technical College was established in 1947, two years after the end of the second world war as a premier technical school to train young Papuans and New Guineans in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea on various technical trades. The college started as a technical high school where students learnt various trades while completing their high school studies.

Over the years thousands of young people have been through the college learning the various electrical, mechanical, printing, building and other important trades to prepare them to enter the work force as qualified tradesmen and women. Many of them are now working with private sector companies as well as government institutions all around PNG.

Some have ventured out to establish their own businesses using the skills and knowledge gained from the Port Moresby Technical College. That college is staging an Open Day tomorrow -- Friday August 24 -- to commemorate 60 years of continued training and development of Papua New Guinea’s technical manpower.

The college will use the occasion to send a message to the new Government and the policy makers of this country about the state of technical education and training in PNG. The constant neglect of the needs of technical colleges in PNG over the years has taken a heavy toll on technical education as a whole. Port Moresby Technical College has suffered enormously from this neglect.

In 2005 the Government adopted its policy on Technical Vocational Education and Training committing itself to accelerating technical education in PNG.

Former Education Minister Michael Laimo says that the aim of the policy is to train the workforce needed for private industry. He acknowledged that there is a shortage of manpower in the industry and the policy will try to address that issue.

So far little has happened. It is time the Government put its money where its mouth is.

The new Government has this great opportunity to start afresh and inject a new lease of life into our technical colleges and technical and vocational education and training in PNG.

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