Looking back all those years since 1975, I am now firmly of the view that independence came too early, much too early when
We neglected our education and health systems and are now paying a high price for it with the numerous social problems in
Pre-independence, and the early days of independence, there was still a strong colonial impact; strong missionary influence.
The came independence!
We did not have the capability to properly educate all our children, many of whom dropped out of school, and being unemployed, turn to a vicious never-ending circle of crime which continues to this day.
These people, being poorly educated, couldn’t properly educate their children and the problem passed on to the next generation.
We also did not have the capability to manage and improve our health services, which have degenerated over the years.
We are now paying a high price for the many years of neglect by the government and the prime minister – Sir Michael Somare – must now admit to the people of
A nation’s prosperity is measured by the levels of education, health and general living conditions of its population at large.
All you have at present is a resilient majority as spectators of a politically-powerful and economically influential elitist minority who live in high price apartments and glass houses in exclusive
The present education and health data in brief are:
• 55% of people are illiterate;
• 50% of school aged children are not in school;
• High drop out/low retention rate;
• Lagging behind in teachers training.
People are still dying from easily preventable and treatable diseases.
• 7,300 babies under 1 year die each day (20 per day);
• 10,200 babies under five years die (28 per day);
• 220,000 babies less than five years have no proper nutrition;
• 3,700 mothers die every day (10 mothers dying per day);
• Half of all children in
• 60% of mothers not properly supervised when giving birth;
• 70% of people have no access to safe drinking water;
• HIV/AIDS spread rapidly through
• Over 14,000 confirmed HIV/AIDS cases;
• Estimates of HIV/AIDS cases putting infection rate at 1-2% of population