It is well-known that teachers from India in this field are genuinely qualified and while I do not doubt their capabilities in helping to educate our children, I am concerned about the negative aspects of this plan.
It seems that Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra is turning a blind eye on our jobless and supressed nationals who can be better utilised.
After 40 years of independence, Papua New Guinea has enough qualified mathematics and science teachers to fill these positions. Hundreds of engineering and science graduates are still in the queue waiting for job interviews.
One such graduate complained that nepotism was taking precedence over academic merit so some of them are still waiting for jobs offers.
And every year this queue is getting longer and longer and the numbers of our school leavers are skyrocketing.
It is a right for every citizen of PNG to receive quality education and for the country to develop a human resource bank.
For this reason our government has invested heavily in education but what plans do we have in place at the end of this processing line to absorb this social pressure?
I once asked a chemistry graduate if he liked teaching and he replied instantly with a ‘yes’.
So teaching can release a little of this pressure.
I believe these two suggestions would be highly beneficial for the country.
- Recruit the jobless science and engineering graduates from our universities into the teaching force. Such was done in some occasions and the outcome in the classroom and in the overall school environment participation is highly impressive. So make the teaching profession lucrative to these nationals. Instead of using about three national teachers’ pay to care for one Indian teacher, it would do much good to PNG if such qualified national teachers’ salary is raised to something like 80% of an Indian teacher’s pay or something of that sort. We have to employ our children. Most foreign engineering or construction firms in our country are employing their own thus making our graduates jobless. Our government may have no concern for its citizens to negotiate for quota bases in relation to labour when foreign investors come in to reap from our booming economy.
- PNG instead needs highly qualified volunteers from Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Canada or USA. When there was such a programme in place in the past the impact in the lives of the nationals was immense. Please bring on this volunteer programme again. Some of these volunteers are retired professionals with invaluable experiences and have a lot to offer us than the suggested recruitment. The expense is much less but the outcome is hugely beneficial.
Tingim PNG Pastaim, Via email