Prime Minister James Marape has called on the Department of Education and academic institutions in the country to focus on incorporating Flexible Open Distance Education in Secondary and Tertiary institutions in the country as part of the ‘Leave No Child Behind’ policy.
Prime Minister Marape said this during a meet with representatives from higher learning institutions in Port Moresby yesterday.
According to statistics given to the Prime Minister by Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra, as of last year’s examinations, an approximate of 36,0000 grade 8’s did not secure a place for grade 9, 30,000 students did not secure placing for grade 10 and 19,000 were left out of tertiary institutions.
This has now left a bulk of students left out from the education system, Marape says the system of education in the country filters out the best students and unfortunately, students that do not perform well academically are left behind.
The Prime Minister has now called on Ministers and Members of Parliament to focus on incorporating FODE into secondary and tertiary institutions as a way of accommodating the bulk of students that do not secure placing in grade, 9, 11 and tertiary institutions respectively
“Ministers and members have been advised that every high school across the country must have a flexible open distance education facility built” he said.
Mr Marape urged the Education department to optimize land and classrooms that are available and funding will run to facilitate the FODE programs.
“We already have land and classrooms”,
“To the education department, make sure flexible open distance education is functional, money for that is still being run and students who have left grade 8, 10 and 12 are given hope that there is still opportunity in life” Marape said.
He added that higher learning institutions must give equal opportunities to students applying through FODE.
“Students who come through our grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 through matriculation and through FODE must be given equal space and opportunity”, he said.
By Pamela Barara, EMTV News Cadet, Port Moresby