Create options for school-leavers

Editorial

THE number of yearly school drop outs and their place and use in society is a ticking time bomb and something the state through its relevant agencies should address.
Leaving school is a time of great change for all children, and although this is exciting, it can also feel as a daunting prospect for the school leaver as they contemplate their future and the path that they are going to take.
Although they will no doubt be glad that they are finally graduating from secondary school and moving into the adult world, they may also feel anxious about the upheaval.
The increasing number of school drop outs (we assume at all levels of education but in particular from primary to secondary level) is a major concern.
If left unchecked the large numbers of unemployed youth turned away by the system would become a developmental obstacle for the country in the short term as well as extending well into the future.
Not sure what statistics from after the academic year in 2019 stand at, but there were some figures from 2016 that of the 22,000 students that come out of high schools each year end some 17,000 or 77 per cent, are not employable.
Now imagine the statistics four years later.
The problem is clear but the solutions are not so easy to come by.
So the obvious question is what is the government doing about it?
What is their strategy and overall plan to deal with the problem?
This issue should be addressed sooner rather than later.
With a build of the masses in this demographic there are bound to be issues that society will face.
The Education department says approximately 50,000 students come out of grade 10 annually and half of that figure out of senior high (grade 12).
And out of the senior student numbers, only a quarter (6,250 students) are taken into the various institutions around Papua New Guinea.
The rest of the school-leavers are left to fend for themselves either in the job market or in private education institutions – if they can afford.
In many if not most families, there is a high value attached to education.
It is seen as the ticket to a better life and something that can enable not only the recipient of the education but their families and tribes.
The effect is multiplied and magnified over the community.
This has been a problem for a long time – it just was not felt as sharply in the community as it is now and has the potential to do.
The solution, or one of them, was giving these students a chance to find employment and become in a way self-reliant and able to function in the modern economy.
At present, technical and vocational educational education is the low hanging fruit that many disregard on their way to higher honours but quite simply this is the only fruit worth getting for the majority.
The challenge the state has is obviously job creation, and giving young men and women in this country the means to earn a living.
The Government through the Education department should make technical education compulsory in all secondary schools.
It should not just be a complementary or supplementary part of the education system or be an elective but a core range of subjects.

2 comments

  • Government should provide more technical institutions e.g. vocational centres like Asian countries are doing for their dropouts for all our grade 10 & grade 12 school dropouts every year so pour kids do not miss out very important thing in life.

  • Honestly this is truly a valid point about”creating options for our school-leavers” Our country keeps on producing a lot of school leavers each year and I’m worried about whether they’ll find a job or not. I don’t see a lot of job opportunities in our country. The government should seriously look at ways to create more job opportunities. For instance, create incentives with private companies to train our school leavers and apprentices and support businesses to develop thereby would create job opportunities whether it be a cleaners job in the office or anything that create job opportunities. It’s not just a University degree that we want but all mixed type from the shop floor up to the white collar job opportunities that I’m talking about. The onus truly lies with our Government to drive it, set standards, promote and encourage private companies to participate in a genuine trustworthy partnership for the prosperity of our country.

Leave a Reply