One of the major undertakings of the government in the Education Sector is the full upgrade of the current school of Medicine and Health Sciences to be the new PNG University of Medicine and Health Sciences, says the Minsiter for Finance and Planning Rainbo Paita.
This was announced when the 2023 budget was drawn out at parliament. “This is a project is a priority investment of this government and we have committed a total of K50 million to go towards the new PNG University of Medicine and Health Sciences, says Minister Paita.”
This when established will ensure increased number of doctors and medical professionals graduate and are engaged into the provincial and district health systems.
The Education sector was allocated a total expenditure budget of K1.3 billion with the key priorities to live no child behind in the primary and secondary education, to increase the intake of tertiary students, build technical schools for TVET and to further opportunities with FODE.
Minister Paita stressed that the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy(GTFS/TFF) has seen a significant increase in funding to continue the policy of paying project fees as well as school fees to ease the burden of parents every year.
The government has allocated K766.4 million towards GTFS, K14.51 million to better curriculum development materials and K7.i million towards secondary school equipment.
“While the government will continue to support the lower education subsidy programs, there is a need for our training institutions to be supported adequately to produce quality teachers in significant numbers to complement our lower education needs, said Minister Paita.”
He said they have allocated funding of K126 million to the higher education sector, particularly for teachers colleges and nursing colleges that are supporting the capacity of provincial and district hospitals.
The other priority investments include: K46.1 million to go towards the improvements for Primary, Secondary and High schools
• K10 million for School of excellence infrastructure programs
•K56.6 million to be invested into TVET and trade skills education
•K12 million to go towards Technical and business colleges and
•K87 million to go towards investments for tertiary institutions infrastructure Minister Paita stated that there are about 36, 000 school leavers every year and the higher education system can only take 8, 000 of these school leavers(22%).
“The government is also considering to introduce the Compulsory National Service to absorb these school leavers and instill discipline and mold respectful citizens for the future, said Minister Paita.”
In the medium term, they will also look into the viability of establishing and upgrading the current Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance to a Public Service University that is dedicated to training future public servants directly from college.