PROMISING: PNG GOVERNMENT PROMISES TO EXPAND ON SPACES AT TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS FROM 4500 TO 11600

The impact of expanding primary and secondary schools in PNG is damning. Students numbers are evidently increasing compounded by government's tuition fee free (TFF) education policy. 

An ABC report revealed that something was finally going to be done about it (increase capacity at higher institutions). Higher education minister, Malakai Tabar, reportedly  said government planned to increase intake at tertiary institution  which is likely to take effect sooner. (Pacific Beat, ABC 19/10/2015). 

Meanwhile, details of how this would happen remained sketchy. A likely avenue to make it work is by expanding existing resources and infrastructure. It is about looking within, utilising what it has and stretching whatever resource it may have to cater for the immediate needs. By this I mean, now - this year's Grade 12. This can be done. It must be done.

Obviously, PNG higher institutions lack the capacity. Numbers released by the Acting Education Secretary indicated a shocking reality. Over 96% of Grade 8,  92% of  Grade 10 and 80% of Grade 12 students do not make to tertiary institutions due to limited space. 

The plan to increase Grade 12 intake from 20% to 50% is a breath of fresh air, in fact an exciting news. 

At 20%, there are just over 4500 spaces at tertiary institution (universities, colleges, vocational centres and other higher learning set-ups). For Mr Tabar's words to come to fruition, PNG government has to ensure half of this year's 23 200 Grade 12 students secure a placing at one of the higher learning institutions. 


That would mean a further 7100 spaces would have to be created to reach the government's promise of over 50% increment in intake. Surely, It is going to be the best thing the government can do right now. And. that is to increase yearly intake from a mere 4500 to 11600 for the academic year 2016.

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