PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare last Friday launched the Government’s ambitious Universal Basic Education Plan 2010-19, which aims to provide nine years of basic education to all PNG children.
The sounds of kundu drumbeats filled the crowded hall of the PNG Education Institution in Port Moresby to celebrate the launch of the plan, which is estimated will cost the Government K2 billion per year and K16 billion over the next 10 years.
A large crowd gathered to witness the much awaited plan which was initiated in 2007 by National Research Institute director Dr Thomas Webster and Education secretary Dr Joseph Pagelio, with a team of experts preparing the groundwork for almost two-and-a-half years.
The UBE plan 2010-19 focuses on the children of PNG, with the aim of giving them nine years of basic education that will enable many disadvantaged children to have access to education and lighten the burden of school fees on their parents.
Sir Michael said the plan was a very important document and a national vision to give nine years of basic education to young people who will then contribute back to the country.
In handing over the UBE plan 2010-19 to Education Minister James Marape, Sir Michael thanked all the technical working team who contributed to drawing up the UBE plan and urged everyone in the Education Department to make it work.
“Nothing is done in a day. There are goals and principles which we work towards to make something work, and so my good people, make this UBE plan 2010-19 work for the benefit of the children and the country as a whole,” Sir Michael said.
For his part, Mr Marape urged all teachers to share the Prime Minister’s vision and help implement the UBE plan 2010-19.
“Today, 47% of children are not in class and it is our vision … to increase the elementary net enrolment ratio of six-year-olds to 85% by 2015 and 90% by 2018,” he said.
“By the end of 2018, 80% of children enrolled in Grade One in 2011, being 80% of six-year-olds in 2011, will graduate from Grade Eight and out of which 90% meet the minimum standards of the UBE learning objectives,” Mr Marape said.
He said the implementation of the UBE would have a lot of implications on the national education system and cost the Government K16 billion over the next 10 years.
Yearly, it will cost K2 billion.