Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru, said this during a meeting with the Director of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Professor Hrushikesh Senpaty, and his administration in New Delhi on March 26th.
The NCERT is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India established in 1961 as a literary, scientific and charitable Society. Among its objectives, NCERT undertakes, promotes and coordinate research in areas related to school education; prepare and publish model text books, supplementary materials, newsletters, journals; and develops educational kits, multimedia digital materials.
Minister Maru made it known that PNG was keen to move away from purchasing text books from Western countries as it was a costly exercise. With the PNG Government’s free education policy, more students have entered schools and demand for such educational materials for both students and teachers has increased exponentially.
Special attention has also been given to mathematics and science subjects to be taught by very qualified teachers, hence, the need to send PNG teachers for postgraduate studies in India.
Minister Maru said Fiji currently receives about a hundred scholarships per year from India while PNG receives only twenty. He therefore requested NCERT for twenty more spaces for PNG teachers to study maths and science at post graduate level.
He will be submitting a formal request to the Indian government to support PNG with specialist Post Graduate maths and science training under our development curriculum with India.
He said PNG is now keen to source text books and e-learning materials from India that have proven to be cheaper, as well as of sound quality. India has demonstrated its global strength in these areas and this is demonstrated through MoU’s with other countries, including South Korea and Australia.
Moving forward, there is a need to work on India’s strength in the education sector through direct collaborations with NCERT and the Government of India or through the Indian Aid Program and its Scholarship Program.
The NCERT would be happy to sign an MoA with the Department of Education in PNG to support our education department in all facets of education quality from teacher education to the procurement of cheaper education textbooks and materials, from using elementary materials, teacher in-service training and research collaboration.
Minister Maru will be talking to his colleague Education Minister to facilitate the MoA to be signed between the NCERT and PNG’s Department of Education for us to access valuable support and assistance from India to assist us with our quality education priority.