Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Education biggest winner

THE education sector – from primary/secondary to technical and higher education institutions – is the biggest winner next year with more than K1.1 billion from the development budget, The National reports

The education appropriation represents 13.8% of the budget, K918.4 million to K1.07 billion.

Specifically, the universal access to quality primary and secondary education is appropriated K906 million, an increase of K18.7 million.

The break-up showed:

* An increase in education subsidy, from K144 million to K172 million, which is an ongoing initiative;

* K30 million for curriculum development and K20 million for equipment from the development budget;

* Expansion of Grade 12 examinations from eight subjects to 16 at K2.3 million and K6 million for production of examination papers (ongoing);

* 72 additional teachers in NCD at a cost of K2.25 million, (ongoing);

* Provinces to receive an additional K42.8 million to fund 4,000 teachers next year, bringing teachers’ numbers to 41,400 at a cost of K526.1 million (ongoing); and

* Provinces receiving K46.9 million in basic education function grants, an increase of K7.7 million (ongoing).

In the higher and technical education sector, the government is focused on addressing the skilled workforce shortage by allocating a total of K170.6 million – the government allocating K93 million while K61 million would come from loans and K36.3 million in additional grants.

Of this amount, K26 million would go to the University of Technology’s infrastructure development – K16 million for HR infrastructure development and K10 million for petroleum and petro-chemical engineering school.

The University of Papua New Guinea was allocated K18 million for infrastructure development comprising a new law school building (K10 million) and science building (K8 million).

Under the same infrastructure development fund, the University of Natural Resources and Environment (formerly Vudal) was allocated K8 million for library (K5 million) and administration block upgrade at (K3 million).

The University of Goroka was allocated K4 million while K59 million would come from the Chinese government for the dormitory extension.

A new initiative, called trade skills scholarship, was allocated K20 million for capacity building while technical vocational education training sector project got K10 million.

Minister James Marape said the school of excellence concept would come to reality with the resource allocation.

He also welcomed an allocation of K40 million for the rehabilitation of the four national high schools of Aiyura, Passam, Sogeri and Kerevat.

He said the rehabilitation of education sector infrastructure (Resi) programme funding of K70 million next year would be more controlled and aligned with the national education plan.

Marape also welcomed “establishing the library in every school” project with an initial allocation of K11 million for next year.

He said this was the biggest support ever received by the department, although funding had increased over the past three years.



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