PNG Higher Education looks to improve tertiary intake
Papua New Guinea's Minister of Higher Education looks for streamlining the system to improve the intake of students from secondary school into tertiary institutions.
Papua New Guinea's Minister of Higher Education says the ministry is streamlining its system to improve the intake of students from secondary school into tertiary institutions.
A new report prepared by the Office of Higher Education has found that only 4,500 of the 17,000 students who sat national exams last year were selected for tertiary institutions.
Malakai Tabar spoke to Johnny Blades who asked him why the intake has been so low.
MALAKAI TABAR: Basically with the way the assessment... the old programme has been looked after, a certain percentage of the students were basically made through some evaluation system to basically fall out and find themselves in other remedial programme, either in a vocational centre or some other programme. Basically what the previous education system was doing was making sure that the best students and academically viable students that they thought were good had to continue, whereas the rest were not allowed to continue. And we have a situation on our hand where we must be able to push everybody through some education system to enhance their capacity to be part of a production system, to come through some other programme that will basically prepare them for some other levels of work in life.
JOHNNY BLADES: So currently if a Grade 12 students sits his or her exams and passes, does that not guarantee that they can get into tertiary institutions?
MT: Not at the moment. There is an accreditation system that must be, the student must be assessed. The assessment system will basically try and determine whether the student can go through the programme. What I was asked to do when I came into this (Ministry) a few months back, I was basically asked to try and see where the bottle neck is and try and do something about it.
JB: Have you identified the bottleneck?
MT: Yes we've identified the bottleneck. We would like to go for a horizontal programme, while at the same time trying to make sure our vertical arrangements of accreditation are not affected. We would like to make sure that everybody is properly supervised and eventually, at the end of the day, is qualified for some degree of work in life .
JB: How do you reach out to those teenagers, those young Papua New Guineans, to make them believe in following through, in working hard, but also how can you get that selection process right at the same time as encouraging them to keep at it?
MT: We're establishing a few institutions. We've just passed a law to establish the Western Pacific University, it's called...
JB: Is that up in Ialibu (Southern Highlands)?
MT: Yes, up in Ialibu.
JB: The Prime Minister's electorate?
MT: Yes, the Prime Minister's area. He's identified some land, and we're happy. We would like to be part of this. As the programme of accreditation and assessment is able to push redirect or push students through to a certain area of academic work, then we make sure that we can achieve those areas, achieving them through those other institutions that we are establishing.
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