27 Oct 2009

PNG launches plan to give children nine years of education

1:41 pm on 27 October 2009

A universal basic education plan has been launched in Papua New Guinea, which aims to provide nine years of education to all the country's children.

The newspaper, The National, reports it is hoped the plan will enable many disadvantaged children to have access to education and lighten the burden of school fees on their parents.

It is estimated it will cost more than six billion US dollars over the next 10 years.

The plan was launched by the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare who said it was a national vision to give basic education to young people who will then contribute back to the country.

The Education Minister, James Marape, says 47 percent of children are currently not in class and it is hoped the plan will increase the enrolment of six-year-olds to 85 percent by 2015 and 90 percent by 2018.