By PHOEBE GWANGILO
The national Department of Education and the Bougainville Department of Education met this week to continue the transfer of operational powers for Bougainville to run its own education system.
According to Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra the transfer of powers started in 2011 following the signing of the peace agreement between the PNG Government and the ABG.
“Primary and elementary structures, employment and terms and conditions of teachers are examples of powers being transferred by the department and the Teaching Service Commission,” he said
The two-day meeting in Port Moresby which ended yesterday discussed, among others:
Transfer of remaining TSC powers to ARoB
Operational functions of standard officers;
Review of the implementation of the Bougainville Education Act 2013;
Bougainville Education Department policy for permitted schools sitting national examinations;
Regulation of pre-schools in Bougainville; and
Bougainville’s student enrolment policy.
Kombra urged the meeting to review the transferred powers to ensure they were functioning.
“From the department side we are willing to complete transfer of powers and functions but our position here is that we want to see that what we have transferred must be effectively seen to be actually happening on the ground.”
He acknowledged the Australian government’s support to Bougainville in terms of finance, technical assistance and experts in this transitional period.
Bougainville Eduation Secretary Dr Justine Kehatsin said: “We have the capability and the capacity to implement those powers and we are trying our best in the region to get those powers implemented as soon as possible and implement successfully.
“So far so good – the minister, the ABG government and my officers in the education department are all working together.”
By PHOEBE GWANGILO