Modern Papua New Guinea

By Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi | Go to book overview

Michael Monsell-Davis


EDUCATION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Social Considerations in Expanding High
School Education to All

IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA, as in many Pacific island nations, there has been a ferment of discussion in recent years concerning such matters as rural development, village entrepreneurs, the quality of education, crime and delinquency, and urban squatter settlements. In particular much debate has centred on the question of growing numbers of young people with good education, but unable to obtain formal jobs, and their dissatisfaction as a result. A recent estimate suggested that 52,000 youngsters leave school every year hoping to enter a wage economy that can cater to only 10,000 (Barber1993). A related issue therefore, has been that of whether or not these youngsters can fit back into the village and use their new skills there.

Most recently there has been pressure to keep youngsters in school right through to grade 10, with the Manus Provincial Government stating, in 1188, that their policy is now ‘High School Education for all’. As other provincial governments follow this lead, there is a pressing need to consider what we expect youngsters to do when they leave school, thus a need to discuss the wider social context of education, hence my choice of topic.

One comment is appropriate: my remarks in this chapter are based in part on my experiences as a teacher and anthropologist for more than thirty years in various parts of Melanesia and the wider Pacific, and in part on published writings by other people. Only those immediately concerned can decide how much is relevant to their own provinces,

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