FOR and on behalf of teachers across Papua New Guinea, I would like to challenge the good Minister for Education about his decision to employ maths and science teachers from India (The National Dec 8, Page 3).
Of the many, my challenges will centre around two points.
Firstly, number of teachers. The minister talked about increasing numerical strengths in line with increased student’s enrollment to achieve the required student-teacher ratio.
That was an important aspect of quality education that was overlooked for a long time by many ministers.
Mr Minister, you are saluted for that.
My challenge is, there are more National teachers than what you aspire to attain but many left teaching for what you call “greener pastures”.
Now, can you tell us what others before you have done about this and what your plans are to train and retain teachers so we can avoid hiring Indian teachers at expatriate-rates (expensive exercise?)
Secondly, given the economic situation the nation is in and with a lot of talk on the credibility of Budget 2018, the minister still thinks he can hire expatriate teachers.
These teachers will be contracted under lucrative employment terms and conditions.
I hope the minister is aware of this and is prepared.
If the minister is serious about raising our education standards through the use of expatriate teachers then let me suggest the following;
- Contract 14,000 Indian or other expatriate teachers to reach the number the minister wishes to reach and tell the country how much it will cost; and
- Retrench National teachers or make teachers retire voluntarily because the government’s decision through the minister is a direct act of no confidence in National teachers.