No sense of nationalism: Lupari

The National,Tuesday June 28th, 2016

The sense of nationalism that used to be prevalent in education institutions no longer exists, says Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.
He told a departmental heads’ meeting last Friday that a case in point was the national high school concept, where students were brought together from all over the country and bonded.
Lupari said students these days tended to be more regionalistic and this was contributing to major problems at institutions.
“This sense of nationalism is no longer in many of our learning institutions because of the way that we have now structured our education system in the country,” he said.
“It is now based on provinces and districts now.
“That includes even the teachers.”
Lupari cited the example of Enga, where about 20 years ago, there were teachers from all over the country teaching there but this was not the case now.
“We had people from West New Britain, Manus, East New Britain – you name it,” he said.
“That allowed for cultural integration.”
Lupari recalled the national high school concept, where the best students from all over the country were brought together at Sogeri, Kerevat, Aiyura and Passam National High Schools.
“The cream went to national high school,” he said.
“Many of us went to national high school.
“When we went in there, we connected with students from all over Papua New Guinea – 800 different ethnic groupings.
“We were able to connect and build that bond, build the spirit of being one and when we went to the university, we broke that culture.
“I wasn’t thinking and talking like an Engan.
“We were all thinking about Papua New Guinea.
“Now, because the system has changed right from primary all the way to secondary, it’s all provincial-based and teachers are from their own provinces.”
Lupari said vice-chancellors had said that was contributing to the segregation at universities.
“People are not thinking Papua New Guinea,” he said.
“When an issue arises, they become Engans, the culture of Enga takes place, Tolai is Tolai, so it’s breeding those kinds of things.
“We might have to think as policy advisers about what we need to do – for an education that is really Papua New Guinea first.”