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Hon. Lucas Dekena, MP, meets the top management and the senior staff of the Ministry of Education

The new Minister for Education, Hon. Lucas Dekena, MP has thanked the Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP, for appointing him as the new minister for education during a meet and greet session with the heads of the Department of Education, Office of Library and Archives and Teaching Service Commission and senior management staff.

Mr. Dekena said that the ministry is a huge organization; however, he is willing to take the challenge and provide the leadership that is needed to achieve the main objective of the National Education System.

In his address to the senior officers, the minister assured the senior management and the officers down the line that the current status quo will be maintained. “There are many good things happening which I am pleased to note, therefore I will not make any major changes but I want us to continue to improve on the way we are implementing these policies and programs and in the way we do business,” the Minister said.

Some of the key priorities and policies that will be continued include:

•          Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy. I urge the department to continue to use the established administrative capacity and systems to deliver the grants on a timely basis.

•          Completion of the PNG Education Transformation Vision (PNGETV) 2075

•          Continued implementation of the Standards Based Curriculum

•          Continue to build infrastructure such as classrooms and science laboratories to cater for the increased number of students

•          Continue to invest in the National Schools of Excellence

•          Continue to implement the locally developed STEM Curriculum

•          Implementation of Early Childhood Education (ECE)

•          Train more teachers

•          Improve the retention rates, especially between grades 8 to 9 and 10 to 11. We need to do more to increase girls’ participation at the secondary level.

•          Pursue the 1-6-6- structure under a Cluster Concept and Plan.

On the type of young people the education system should produce in the future, he said that children must be raised to become self-sufficient and useful citizens with Christian values instilled in them.

In terms of unemployment, the Minister said that there are a lot of unemployed young people after leaving the school system. “We need to find ways through our system, curriculum, and policies to reduce the rate of unemployment and reduce the habit of laziness.” He said that financial literacy and vocational education courses must be vigorously pursued and promoted to ensure that school leavers or unemployed youths can enroll in, get a qualification and find employment or be self-employed.

The Minister called on the staff of the Ministry to maintain respect, professionalism and good governance in the way they do business every day.

“I encourage you all to be more creative and think outside the box and come up with new policies and programs instead of waiting for the government and the development partners to tell us,” Mr. Dekena told the officers.

The Minister thanked the senior management staff and officers down the line for their warm welcome that was accorded to him and his staff upon their arrival at the Vulupindi Haus this morning (Thursday, April 4) and also during the briefing session.


Approved for Release

Hon. Lucas Dekena, MP

Minister for Education