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23 December 2012

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It was very depressing for me to read this interview about the state of PNG education.

I left PNG in 1986. I had been their Senior Curriculum Officer for school agriculture for 7 years.

I returned to PNG and visited many primary Schools in the Eastern Highlands in 2004 and as far as I could see education was exactly as it was in 1986.

By what I read now it seems to have gone backwards in the interim. I have a website that is a little run down at present but I intend to breathe new life into it just shortly.

I will do all in my power to use this website to help education in PNG in some small way. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Not forgetting Dr James Chin and his Introduction to International Relations course.

I like the way he made reference to Tom Clancy and other movies which deals with nuclear threats.

His classes were very interesting and he inspired me to know more about international relations.

During my time at the University of PNG from 2003-2006. I was privileged to be taught by people like Dr Alphonse Gelu, Dr Henry Okole, Dr Oruvu Sepoe and Professor Allan Patience from the Political Science Strand.

Also Dr Peter Yearwood, Dr Anne Dickson-Waiko, William Ferea and Associate Professor August Kituai from the History, Philosophy and Gender Strand.

In PNG, a career in academia is not appealing. Most graduates greatly prefer working in the private or public sector. They believe that is where you make tonnes of money and have fun doing it.

Others use academia as a launching pad. Once they gain knowledge and experience they move out. To them being a tutor or lecturer is just to pass time in order to clock the years of experience.

Thus, academia to most is not a desirable career path. That is why PNG does not have serious researchers in political science and other fields of knowledge.

As a result, the Politicsl Science Strand does not have people with PhDs to replace people like Gelu, Okole and Sepoe who have moved on. The gap is so wide, it like swimming from the north pole down to the south pole.

I feel the main thing is to remember that there is an Education Department in PNG and we (Australians) need to give them all the encouragement and help and money, as far as possible.

We know all Government Departments in PNG work under a huge strain and the more help we can give them the better.

But they must know that they must be honest with us and that if there is any corruption going on and we find out about it there will be "all hell to pay", as they say!

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