Call for PNG govt to boost teacher numbers

The head of a privately-funded think tank in Papua New Guinea says the government needs to boost the number of teachers under its free education programme for all pupils.

The government has released 112 million US dollars as the first installment of funds for the programme.

The Director of the Institute of National Affairs Paul Barker says the government needs to ensure there is quality teaching in schools and to deal with a shortage of teachers in rural areas.

"Because of the difficulties of living in remote areas, you really need to ensure that teachers want to remain there and that there's not this big wastage and ghosts on the payroll as there has been over the course of time. And that partly requires that you recruit teachers from local areas and return them to their local areas because people tend to find it difficult to go into the remote parts of the country."

Paul Barker says the government needs to target teacher training centres to lift the standard of teaching.

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