National Planning Department Secretary, Hakaua Harry, said this during the opening of dormitories and classrooms at Madang Teacher Training College, Madang Province, recently.
“The delivery of this project, through the funding support of European Union, no doubt further strengthens our partnership in meeting development challenges in the country,” stated Harry.
“In 2004, the Government took the important decision to localise the 8 global millennium development goals into achievable national targets, with the view to take greater ownership and responsibility for the development of the country to benefit all citizens.
“To achieve this target, the Government introduced tuition fee-free policy at the elementary, primary and secondary school levels.
“After abolishing school fees in 2010, the Government reported a primary school enrolment rate of 85.6 percent achieving national targets and higher completion rates.”
The Secretary said the Government is working to overcome challenges that contribute to ongoing low rates of youth literacy and low secondary school retention rates.
“Therefore construction and rehabilitation of teachers’ college infrastructure is part of Government’s efforts to overcome these challenges of delivering universal primary education in the country.”
She further thanked the European Union for its tremendous support.
“This year we commemorate the 40 years of that partnership,” said Harry. “I must say we have achieved a lot together in all development areas.”
The funding is scoped into 3 separate components; (1) The development of key infrastructure in 3 teachers colleges, (2) The awarding of scholarships to students in less developed parts of the country to gain entry into teachers colleges and (3) Capacity building support to management systems of the Education Department.
Madang TTC received about PGK6 million for scholarship and infrastructure development.
The Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU in PNG, Ioannis Giokarakis-Argyropoulus, and Secretary Harry, opened the facilities and handed them over to the Madang Teacher Training College last Thursday.
The infrastructure was built by Niugini Builders.
The dignitaries at the opening included the French Ambassador H.E Pascal Maubert, the EU Head of Cooperation, Ms. Mateja Peternelji, the Secretary of Education, Dr. Uke Kombra and his senior officers, Madang Provincial Administration, MTTC Council and Administration.
(Secretary Harry handing the keys of the new facilities to Education Secretary, Dr Uke Kombra)