Minister for National Planning Richard Maru, said sourcing of quality educational materials from India would be beneficial for Papua New Guinea on many levels.
He 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 Tuesday 26, March 2019.
The NCERT is an autonomous organization of the Government of India established in 1961 as a literary, scientific and Charitable Society.
Among its objectives, NCERT undertakes, promotes and coordinates research in areas related to school education; prepare and publish model textbooks, supplementary materials, newsletters, journals; develops educational kits, multimedia digital materials; organizes pre-service and in-service training of teachers; develops and disseminates innovative educational techniques and practices; and networks and collaborates with state educational departments, universities, NGOs and other educational institutions.
NCERT is also an implementing agency for bilateral cultural exchange programmes with other countries in the field of school education and it also interacts and works in collaboration with international organizations, visiting foreign delegations and offers various training facilities to education personnel from developing countries.
Minister Maru made it known that PNG was keen to move away from purchasing textbooks 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 postgraduate 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 textbooks 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 our Department of Education for us to access valuable support and assistance from India to assist us with our quality education priority.
Source: Ministry of National Planning Media Release