Push for compulsory education

National, Normal

The National, Friday 14th June 2013

 THE Ministry of Education has been tasked to explore the possibility of introducing compulsory education next year.

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion said at the opening of the Governors Education Investment Summit in Port Moresby yesterday education officials had been instructed to look into the matter because of the big number of school-age children on the streets. 

“We have invested almost K1 billion in the last two years to fund the tuition fee-free policy with the inclusion of Grades 11 and 12 in 2013,” he said.

“Even though the Government has pumped a lot of money into providing free education, we still find too many school-age children roaming the streets, tending smaller siblings or working to provide for their family.”

Dion said it was not fair that the Government had invested millions of kina in education yet there were  a good number of children still not attending school. 

He blamed parents and guardians for not encouraging and supporting children to go to school. 

Provincial administrators and education advisers have been told to commit funds and resources to create more secondary school spaces for children in their provinces.

In 2010, almost 87,000 students were enrolled in primary school in Grade 8 but only 47,000 were able to continue their education to Grade 9 in 2011. 

This meant that about 40,000 Grade 8 students were unable to access secondary education in 2011. 

Dion also touched on human capital development which he emphasised on the quality of human resources that Papua New Guinea produced.