| PNG Business News
PORT MORESBY - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Papua New Guinea government have signed loan and grant agreements of more than $66 million (K90 million) to help improve PNG’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program.
The agreements, part of the Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project approved on 29 November, were signed by PNG Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey and ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea David Hill.
Francis Hualupmomi, acting secretary of the PNG Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, and Paul Lehmann, a minister counsellor at the Australian High Commission, witnessed the signing.
The project will strengthen the country’s TVET program and help prepare students to be more competitive and responsive to employment and industry demands.
“We look forward to working with the governments of PNG and Australia through this project to help reduce youth unemployment,” Mr Hill said.
“The project will support TVET colleges by providing programs that are relevant and responsive to labour market needs in priority sectors of construction and agriculture.”
Planned reforms include strengthening the capacity and management of 10 colleges, providing high-quality teacher training and developing a curriculum for demand-driven TVET programs.
In addition, teaching facilities at colleges will be upgraded to increase female students access to TVET and governance of the TVET program will be strengthened as the project forges closer partnerships with industry and business groups.
“This project aims to boost the numbers of skilled workers—both men and women—in the construction and agriculture sectors where demand is high,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said.
“This innovative project will expedite the government’s reform in TVET and will create centres of excellence, as models for subsequent reforms to other TVET colleges in the country.”
“We are thankful to ADB and the government of Australia in supporting us in building our abundant human capital, especially in developing the critical skills needed to grow our economy,” said Don Polye, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, and Sports.
“I am pleased to note that they understand the skills required in the construction sector, which is a focus for skills development in this project, as well in developing skills in the agriculture sector.”
The TVET sector of PNG’s education system comprises public, private, and church-affiliated institutions.
These include technical and business colleges offering post-secondary courses and vocational training.
The Improved TVET for Employment Project is funded through a $50 million concessional loan from ADB and a $10.6 million grant from Australia. The Government of PNG is also contributing $5.7 million.