13 Aug 2007

PNG government told it must emphasize higher education to grow the economy

6:41 pm on 13 August 2007

The incoming Papua New Guinea Government has been told that it must invest in higher education if the country is to make the most of its economic potential.

The chairman of the Commission for Higher Education, Simon Kenehe, says there are only around four and a half thousand students going on to tertiary study from secondary school each year, but that figure should be in the tens of thousands.

He says if the Government were to invest much more in higher education the progress of the PNG economy could rival that of Dubai, Singapore or South Korea.

"These are the aggressive nations that have proved to themselves thhat you have to invest in higher education to create manpower, skilled manpower. The other language that everyone is talking about is [the] knowledge economy. What is meant by that. What is meant by the nationals of those nations possessing the right kind of qualifications, the rights kinds of skills, abilities, capabilities and talents. So Papua New Guinea owes it to itself and to make it so it has to invest in higher education."