The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013
An Education Department team has completed gauging the views of the people of East New Britain on the introduction of compulsory education in the country.
The team was headed by the department’s first assistant secretary in the policy, planning and research division, John Joseph.
The team visited all four districts in the province to find out whether the people supported the introduction and implementation of compulsory education.
During a presentation last week on the education sector, Joseph said Papua New Guinea was one of the 13 United Nations members that was at risk of not achieving global targets of universal primary education by 2015.
“PNG is part of the 189 UN member states, including at least 23 international organisations that adopted the UN Millennium Development Declaration in 2000, agreeing to achieve eight set goals by 2015,” Joseph said.
“The second goal, which the department is trying to improve is to achieve universal primary education by 2015, therefore, engaging in consultative meetings in provinces to measure views on implementing compulsory education.”
He said according to the 2000 National Population Census, there were 2.2 million school-aged children in the country of which only 1.7 million were enrolled in schools.
Joseph said there were 50,000 registered teachers, of which 46,000 were already on the payroll.
The remaining 4,000 teachers had yet to be confirmed before they could be included in the system.
He said within the first six months of this year, the government was trying to come up with a way to improve the country’s number of students enrolled in schools and this year’s tuition fee free programme was one of the methods used.
Joseph said compulsory education was another strategy to be introduced into the education system once consultations were completed and a report was presented in parliament.