The National, Monday February 17th, 2014
THE Ministry of Higher Education is working on a rollout programme to have an institute of higher education in each province and district in the country.
Minister David Arore said a submission is before the National Executive Council (NEC) to roll out the first six institutions.
The aim of the programme is to address the high number of school leavers after Grade 10 and Grade 12 annually.
“I want to do a rollout programme and so I will be bringing to NEC a programme for each district. The first thing is for us to get each district to have a university centre. Secondly, we go by each province and we roll out an institution of higher education in each province depending on the needs of the province as to what subject matter to provide,” he said in Parliament last Friday.
“But we will have a standardised minimum subjects that are offered, let’s say diploma in education because most provinces complain about shortage of teachers, diploma in community health working or nursing and maybe agriculture so we make it a standard institution throughout the country.”
Arore was responding to Maprik MP John Simon asking if the ministry could convert the agriculture college in his district to an autonomous university to cater for East and West Sepik students.
Simon told the House that the previous government had invested millions of kina into putting up that college which was currently under the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) and for two years it has been standing idle.
“If what the government is doing like building a university in each region, it’s a good idea and if that is what the government is doing, why don’t the ministry convert Bainik UNRE campus into a stand-alone or a more autonomous university so that it would help cater for both East and West Sepik,” he asked.
“Because we have on my record here last year we had more than 12,000 students who have completed grade 10 and 12. For Highlands it’s okay in Hela you will now have a new university so what about us in East and West Sepik.”
Arore confirmed receiving Simon’s request and said that the Ministry was negotiating with UNRE to release that college.