The National, Tuesday July 30th, 2013
THE common man is a slave, not to another, but first and foremost, to his own ignorance.
Only his ignorance subjugates him to the ideas of other men.
The first thing to do is to free one’s self from ignorance.
To emancipate ourselves from mental slavery requires a rare courage, a willingness to find out just who we truly are.
That knowledge is priceless, something that is cherished by mankind.
Thereafter, other impeding chains will be released link by link of their own volition, but it must always begin with knowledge.
Realising this truth, the writers of the Constitution set the first national goal in the preamble to the Constitution as “integral human development”.
The goal reads: “We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others”.
The goal calls for everyone, not just the government or some other power, to be involved in every endeavour to achieve full physical, psychological and spiritual development. Only after he or she has attained that stage can he then be able to contribute to the common good.
Some wise spirit remarked once that one often gets intoxicated on sips of knowledge but that deeper drinking sobers him up again.
In a sense, at the back of Papua New Guinea’s myriad problems is the lack of real deep drinking from the cup of knowledge.
Often half baked, half literate and unskilled people are placed in charge of important departments and agencies.
As often a college degree is used to pass for qualification when really skills, experience and qualification are a world apart from a college degree.
A degree is a good start, but it should never be used as a pass to the top job.
A decent education is terribly important but equally important and not subservient to that is the need for a good grounding in job skills, experience, management training and periodic skills upgrading.
Education must be every government’s topmost priority.
It is a pity it has come this late in the life of the nation but it is good the government is lavishing every resource it can spare on improving education.
Just as an example, look at what Enga and Morobe provinces have produced through their provincial free education policies that have been in place since 1997.
Today every education institution in the country have the highest population of students from these two provinces and the same can be said for all the other universities around the globe where there are to be found Papua New Guineans.
In a first rate education are to be found the seeds for the growth of a healthy, wealthy, progressive, self-reliant and uniquely Papua New Guinean society.
There are no more needs for further plans or visions.
The five national goals are indeed the planning and vision blue print for this country and they have existed from day one.
All we have ever needed and all that is required are complimentary policies and strategies to move these goals from dreams to reality.
As we prepare to celebrate our country’s 38th anniversary of independence the Government of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has embarked on an ambitious plan to deliver universal primary education on the back of a “free education” policy.
This will equip the people with the means to be able to make decisions, to achieve their destiny by their own choices rather than have it imposed by somebody else.