National Education Plan 2015 - 2019 Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world

As PNG looks forward to another 5-year National Education Plan, NEP 2015 – 2019, over 21000 grade 12 graduates are competing for one of the 4500 places at tertiary institutions nationwide.  Where will 80% of these young men and women go? What is their future? How do we arm them with the 'most powerful weapon' - EDUCATION after grade 12?

NEP 2005 – 2014 clearly outlined specific recommendations (and ways) to achieve its goals. The vision was clear. I will pinpoint certain areas where government and National Department of Education (NDoE) should have done right in articles (II) – (IV).

This article gives an introductory remark on way forward in next 10 years by looking at why Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

His words are relevant in PNG now.

This great man gave his speech during his first visit to the US after his release from 27 years imprisonment. In the early 1990 many students dropped out of school. That was why he stressed the importance of school and education. He wanted to get the message to every student - young man and woman who was present that time.

He also said “This [students dropping out from school] is a very disturbing situation, because the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” he told the students . He urged students to “try as much as possible to remain in school.”

The message was clear: he gave it at the right time to the right audience. Many students present took the message in.  Here is one example.

Papua New Guinea education planners need to get this message in, too. Education consultants, researchers, NDoE secretary and time wasters at the department must get their heads together.

This isn’t a time for planning as it may seem. It is time for planning and implementing a new (or adjusted) 10-year vision.

The words of Mandela rings through to this day when over 80% of Grade 12s do not have a place in higher educational institutions. It is time to create National Education Plan that encompasses not only the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), BUT also relevant to PNG.

Why not start by addressing high dropout rate? Look no further than do what needed done is the best way forward.



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