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High school fees, low standards

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 14, 2011) - A Papua New Guinea (PNG) researcher warns that schooling in the country - seen by many as the key to national advance - is at crisis point.

There are concerns that education is becoming unavailable to the average family because of rising school fees.

Also affecting standards are out-of-date text books, shabby school buildings and absenteeism among teachers.

Dr. Alphonse Gelu, from the PNG National Research Institute, says the situation is at crisis point.

He says while government is encouraging children to go school, it is becoming too expensive for most families.

Dr. Gelu told Radio Australia: "On the one hand, the government is emphasizing education as the key to development.

"But on the other hand, the government is not doing enough to make sure children have access to school."

The problem ran all the way from primary school all the way up to tertiary education, he claimed.

[PIR editor’s note: Islands Business reported teacher vacancies in Papua New Guinea are at 11,000 with 1,700 teachers resigning last year. The number of teachers leaving is 500 more than new graduating teachers.]

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