Education is also priority, says PM

National, Normal


PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has vowed to focus on education from this month onwards apart from health, law and order and transport infrastructure concerns.
Sir Michael said education was vital in developing the country’s human resources, “our greatest renewable asset”.
He was speaking during the 35th independence anniversary flag raising ceremony on Independence Hill in Port Moresby last Thursday.
He said he was pleased to inform the nation that access to education had improved over the past 20 years at all levels of the system.
“This has been a direct result of the education reforms at primary and high school levels.
“Education to the highest level is no longer just for elites and the numbers completing Grade 12 have increased 10-fold,” Sir Michael said.
He said one of the principle barriers to children first entering and then remaining in school had been school fees.
“For the first time, the national government is working at introducing a fee free education in a measured and sustainable way and that is through the universal basic education (UBE) plan 2009-19 which was launched last October.
“The UBE plan 2010-19 builds on the progress made in the National Education Plan 2005-14,” he said.
“We acknowledge that the costs involved for parents in educating a child amount to more than just school fees.
“We hope UBE will free parents to provide care for their children in other essential areas.
“There is now a wider range of qualifications available at the technical, vocational and business college levels.”