Teachers are to benefit from a scholarship program funded by the European Union. 250 students have graduated under this program and the EU plan to grant an additional K12 million in funding.
In partnership with the Education Department, the funding will enable training of up to 650 primary school teachers, along with other forms of aid through the Human Resources Development Program, Phase 1 (HRDP1).
The joint agreement was signed yesterday morning by the Education Minister and a representative from the European Union.
Present was the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Development, Mr Andris Piebalgs, with his delegation, along with the Minister for Education, Mr Nick Kuman.
The Minister commented on the current, devastating ratio of 35-40 students per teacher, and how the Department of Education is under continuous reform, directing their priorities towards quality teaching and ICT. The ICT program aims to provide internet access through all 89 districts, to enable ease of access, with the use of e-learning and e-libraries.
Mr Piebalgs stressed the importance for high levels of aid, especially for PNG’s yearly 3% population growth, saying that unemployment and lack of education, leads to the violent street life. He said that any society worth its salt must be able to offer its young people real prospects, along with the chance to build a future for themselves and their families.
Mr Piebalgs also said that their focus on teacher-training is an appropriate direction to begin with, as the quality of education, particularly for the younger kids, is very much dependant on the teacher; if the teacher is untrained or unmotivated, results are, therefore, poor.
In addition to the teacher training program, 84 dormitories and 6 classrooms in Gaulim, Madang and Balop Teachers Colleges, are to be constructed under the EU-funded Human Resources Development Program Phase 1, along with development of training materials and capacity strengthening of the Department of Education.
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