Education. Papua New Guinea press review
Education Minister Joseph Yopyyopy officially announced that all schools will resume classes on May 4. It is expected that universities of Papua New Guinea (PNG) will start operating on April 27. The studying will take place in strict compliance with medical requirements to counter COVID-19.
Residential students of the University of Papua New Guinea have called on the University Council to cancel the 2020 academic year, until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Secretary of the team, Kim Roary outlined two options to UPNG Vice-Chancellor Professor, Frank Griffin on behalf of the student body:
«First option is for the UPNG Council to decide whether or not they can suspend the academic year for an indefinite period, until the pandemic passes». He said however, in the event that the academic year was to continue as scheduled then the university must initiate a blended learning system online for the safety of staff and students. President of the team, Adrian Taranu said: «The risk of contracting the virus within the university is very high».
Professor Frank Griffin assured the student body that all requests presented will be taken into consideration by the senate and then the council and informed students that the university council had sought advice from the Department of Higher Education Research, Science and Technology in regards to sending students back to their home provinces but were informed that there were no funds available. However, he reassured students that the University Council wanted to make sure that the lives of staff and students are safe, academic programs can be taken up later on». Also work is underway to set up an online learning platform where teaching and learning can continue despite the lockdown.
The Government of New Ireland Province is on the way to implement the idea of New Ireland University. It plans to do this through Public Private Partnership. Studying will provide in the following educational areas: College of Law and Business, College of Science and Technology to offer Marine Science/Marine Biology, Marine Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Mining Engineering, and so on.
The New Ireland Province currently has 560 schools and 2109 teachers and the need to provide quality and accessible education service is of paramount importance for New Ireland.