PNG playing ‘catch up’ in world of technology

Letters

ONE of the major challenges facing human resources planning in Papua New Guinea is dealing with the uneven level of technological development in this country.
The world has witnessed a huge scientific and technological explosion in recent decades but not all our people have been equally affected by this process.
Yet the ability to master and applied science and technology are indispensable to the process of modernisation and development of economies.
Well aware of this fact as early as 2000, PNG embarked on programmes to support the development of science education at secondary and higher education levels.
Much has been achieved and the number of pupils and students enrolled in science courses has increased almost everywhere.
However, expectations have rarely been met and lack of science trained personal at higher and middle levels continue to hamper the socio-economic development of this country.
The reasons for this state of affairs are many: well trained and motivated science teachers have remained in short supply in most provinces.
Curriculum reforms have not been implemented as planned either because the necessary resources have not been available or because it takes time, in any case, for schools and teachers to change their habits and teaching methods.
More recently, science education seems to have particularly suffered from the economic austerity which has led to a decrease in real terms of the resources allocated to education in PNG.
All these problems have been aggravated by lack of co-ordination between the numerous administrations and institutions concerned with secondary education and by insufficient planning.
As a result, science education in PNG is still in a critical state.
This is a very serious problem in the country and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology through the assistance of the national government must address this very seriously.
This is an issue and it needs more focus if Papua New Guinea wants to achieve some of the goals of the Vision 2050.

Seth RAKE
Boroko, NCD

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