The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013
INVESTING in education for Papua New Guineans contributes to the eradication of poverty, the PNG Education Advocacy Network (PEAN) says.
Network executive director Priscilla Kare said: “As we observe International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which falls on Oct 17, it is important that we are mindful of the link between education and poverty.
“Poverty is closely linked to poor quality education and failure to address this can result in a weak workforce for PNG,” she said. In a statement she said education was not only important in reducing poverty but a key to wealth creation.
“The O’Neill Government’s free education policy must be commended as it lessens the burden of school fees for struggling parents and provides an opportunity for all children to go to school,” Kare said.
She said while the national government was focused on universal primary education, the right to education was universal and should extend to other sectors of education like adult literacy and education for disabled people.
“International conventions like the Rights of the Child Convention, the Education For All (EFA) Declaration and the Human Rights Charter demand for all men, women, children and youth, including people with disabilities, to receive some form of education or learning.
“People living with disabilities are partners to development but remain trapped in a cycle of poverty due to a lack of employment and education opportunities.”
She said in adult literacy, research showed that uneducated and illiterate parents were highly unlikely to commit to their children to receiving the education they needed.
“Children who do not receive an education are at risk of child labour, low wages and job insecurity and remain in the cycle of poverty,” she said.
“Investing in adult literacy is crucial as parents make decisions in matters involving resource projects and land development on behalf of their children.”