AUSTRALIA had committed K24 million to Papua New Guinea for primary and elementary sector infrastructure support for next year, to be administered by AusAID’s basic education development programme (BEDP), deputy Australian High Commissioner John Feakes said.
Mr Feakes was addressing Biotou villager of Bereina, Central province, where parents, staff and students were celebrating the completion of a double classroom and office building worth K30,000 funded under the infrastructure component of the BEDP last Thursday.
“The assistance enhances the PNG-Australia partnership for development, which has a strong focus on improving access to education for PNG children and includes more and better facilities like those we are opening here today Mr Feakes said”.
He said the funding next year would enable more schools to benefit like Biotou has, stressing that it was not just about new buildings.
Support also includes training and support to provincial and district administrations, local communities and school boards of management.
These were for further infrastructure support to schools around the country; provision of textbooks and school materials; provision of school grants to elementary and primary schools; support to the school learning improvement plans (SLIP) and support to the Education Department to strengthen its systems and processes to deliver quality education.
“With this in mind, I would like to announce the extension of Australia’s BEDP programme until the end of next year, which is one of the main programmes through which Australia works with PNG in the area of education.
“In fact, it is through this programme that the money for the new facilities here at Biotou were provided by Australia,” Mr Feakes said.
BEDP was set up in 2004 to provide tools and resources for local communities to help build school infrastructure and to ensure communities were involved in participating and looking after their schools.
He commended the strong partnership between board of management, the head master and teachers, parents, the community and contractors for the commitment they put in to realise new facilities.
Mr Feakes said a new programme of school infrastructure support would replace BEDP when it concludes next year .