The National, Wednesday 08th Febuary 2012
By SALLY TIWARI
ONE hundred and ninety students under the Technical Vocational Education Training Skills scholarship programme will be leaving the country by the end of
the month to study in Australia.
The students, aged between 18 and 26, are the third and the largest batch of students that have been sponsored by the national government to undergo heavy trade skills training.
In an official send-off last Friday, Office of Higher Education director-general Dr William Tagis said the training was the first phase of the programme.
The second phase will see the upgrading of existing colleges so that by 2020 all tradesmen will be trained locally.
But Tagis said to do that would need more funding from the government, especially if the country aimed to produce 2000 tradesmen by 2015.
He challenged the students to keep away from drugs and alcohol, saying some students were recalled last year because they had not complied with rules.
Of the 190 students, 90 will be attending the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE in Cairns.
The rest will attend the Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE in Townsville.
Australian High Commissioner Ian Kemish said the increase in the number of students in the programme reflected its success.
He said the Australian government was pleased to support educational programmes, one of which was the provision of K925,000 in infrastructure grants to upgrade the Port Moresby Technical College.
Kemish said he had received positive responses from the instructors on the performance of Papua New Guinea students, who were found to be keen and hard working.