On 30 November, Deputy Secretary Annemarie Kona of the National Department of Education on behalf of the Minister for Education, and the Australian High Commissioner HE Jon Philp launched the Partnerships for Improving Education (PIE) program at Papa School in Central Province.
This new program aims to provide more children with access to quality inclusive education.
The PIE program is an eight-year PNG-Australia Partnership funded program designed to improve access, equity, and student learning outcomes in the early grades.
The program operates at the national and subnational level in four target locations Enga, West Sepik, Central and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The new program, designed in close consultation with the National Department of Education (NDoE) and key education stakeholders, aims to address limitations and challenges faced in early grade education and
ensure more children attend school, including girls and children with disabilities.
The program will do this through upskilling elementary teachers with dedicated in-service training, providing curriculum materials, books and supporting School Boards of Management improvement plans and support
NDoE to improve data management to inform policy and planning.
Deputy Secretary Kona speaking on behalf of Secretary Dr Uke Kombra who was called to Parliament with the Minister of Education said, “We are grateful for the ongoing support by the Australian Government through the
Ms Kona said the Department of Education was committed to the program as it aims to achieve quality education for all.
Ms Kona said PIE is working closely with the Department to achieve quality education for all, upgrade teacher competency and improve student enrolment and retention.
Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp said this investment by the Australian Government will support the PNG Government’s vision towards an educated population that will enable a literate, healthy and inclusive workforce that can contribute to the economic and social development of the country.
The foundation of an educated population begins in the early grades. Mr Philp reflected that his own father was a teacher that supported early curriculum development in PNG and had highlighted to him how critically important good teachers are to learning.
The PIE program will focus on critical elements to quality education in the early grades including teacher upskilling.
High Commissioner Philp emphasised Australia’s commitment to support greater representation of women at all leadership levels of our society, noting that potential future leaders were amongst the students of Papa School in
Central Province’s Governor Rufina Peter is one such leader.
Deputy Secretary Kona thanked the Australian Government for their collaboration with NDoE and provincial departments of education to refine the approaches and systems to improve early grade education and align with GoPNG priorities and education as outlined in the NEP 2020-2029.