I COMMEND Prime Minister James Marape for the initiatives that his government has come up with.
I am totally supportive of his statement that it is time to take back PNG.
I would like to elaborate on two main things – culture and education.
One of the main issues affecting this beautiful nation of Papua New Guinea is the mindset of the people. Papua New Guineans no doubt are a very cultural people and we are proud of it.
But the downside is that we are not using these cultures to benefit the nation in a positive way.
Our cultural diversity and natural resources have a huge economic potential.
However, this is not utilised because people don’t have the right knowledge on how to manage these resources.
Some of our cultural norms also have a negative impact on the building of this culturally unique Melanesian nation.
As a result it is affecting how well the government can perform its mandated tasks for better development in our communities.
This is the 21st century, the digital era and yet nearly two thirds of Papua New Guineans are not well educated and under skilled.
What the people really need is better education and enhanced skills development so that they can contribute more meaningfully to the development of this nation.
Our people have little or no education at all and only a few people get employment in the cities and towns.
Also production levels are low because of under skilled employees, resulting in low production rates.
My fellow Papua New Guineans my heart cries every day because our towns and cities are populated with illiterate people, unemployed youths, under skilled workers and struggling middle class government workers who are doing what they can to meet their daily needs.
I, therefore, believe that in order for this country to develop, the first step is to change the mindsets of our people.
This can be done through more investment in our education system.
More emphasis should be made on the type of education our kids are getting, more people with technical and industrial skills should be trained and employed as teachers in elementary and primary schools. Vocational schools should be merged with primary schools so even if some can’t make higher they still have hope for a better future.
Our cultural heritage must always be integrated in schools and above all our Christian values must be held strongly.
Furthermore, more awareness should be done in our communities so that our people in the villages can understand what has to be done in order to build this nation.
This will in fact have some impact on urban drift.
PNG has a lot to offer to world, with our natural resources, our mineral resources, our potential in agriculture, our diverse cultures and most of all our human resource.
But the big question is how well we can manage all these if we do not have the right skills?