By Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Member for Ijivitari, David Arore, asked the Minister for Higher Education about updates on the former Popondetta campus of the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE).
Arore said in 2014 the National Executive Council (NEC) approved six institutions in the country, including the former UNRE campus, to become institutions of higher education to cater for the increasing numbers of Grade 12 school leavers.
Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology, Malakai Tabar, urged the Northern Provincial Administration to assist in coordinating efforts on the ground.
During Questions without Notice in parliament yesterday, Arore asked Minister Tabar about the former UNRE Popondetta campus. He said following the NEC decision in 2014, the former UNRE campus was said to become an independent higher education institute to be called the Eastern Papua Institute of Higher Education.
He said the campus was now unused with all UNRE staff withdrawn and there were no intakes for this year.
In response, Minister Tabar said this year was a transition year. Last year, he asked the provincial administration and provincial government to work with the Higher Education Department to coordinate efforts on the ground.
Northern Province Governor, Gary Juffa, said the Oro Provincial Government was willing to lend its support.
Arore said the Ijivitari District Development Authority, in support of the NEC decision approved in this year’s budget, had a total of K500,000 as counterpart funding to establish this new Eastern Papua Institute in Popondetta.
Minister Tabar said the department was working hard at delivering the six approved higher education institutes, given their pressing need.