EDUCATION Minister James Marape said yesterday that he expected enrolment at schools to grow starting next year under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) system.
The UBE (2009-18) will be funded with assistance from the Australian government.
Mr Marape said UBE would link with the Government’s 2010-15 Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS).
He said under UBE, the retention rate in schools would be increased and the number of female students would also increase.
“Currently, we have 56% of enrolment rate, we want to increase to 75% by 2015,” Mr Marape told participants at a conference in Goroka yesterday.
He said if PNG did not have any intervention today, the Government’s 2050 vision would not be achieved.
Mr Marape also stressed the importance of the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET), highlighting the need to have technically skilled manpower in the country.
Mr Marape opened the 2009 National Education Conference in Goroka.
He said PNG was ready to take on UBE in response to the call of the United Nations and other international partners for the Government to do something about low enrolment rates in schools, and the high rate of illiteracy, particularly among women.
Meanwhile, Education secretary Dr Joseph Pagelio said the discussions at the conference was aimed at assisting the education sector to realign itself to help the Government to achieve its 2010-50 vision to have a “happy, wealthy and united” country by 2050.
“Our plan is to support the Government’s National Strategic Plan vision 2050, as we are responsible for the education sector, the challenge is for every stakeholders and participants to think along the vision 2050,” Dr Pagelio said.