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Old 14-02-2004, 05:17 PM
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Over 400 teachers for degree program

AN overwhelming 416 teachers throughout the country have been awarded places at the University of Papua New Guinea to pursue studies in the Bachelor of Arts (Education) program in the 2004 academic year.
It is the largest intake of students in the first year of offering this new program aimed at enabling eligible high school and primary school teachers to obtain university degrees in education studies.

Executive Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Kenneth Sumbuk said the new degree program is part of UPNG's new approach in reposition itself as the flagship provider of flexible learning in higher education.

“I am proud to announce that the new Bachelor of Arts (Teacher Education) degree program has attracted a record number of applicants from which 416 were admitted for enrolment. This is by far the highest number of students admitted to a single degree program at UPNG,” he said.

Prof. Sumbuk said the high number of intake clearly demonstrates that there is an existing need for enhancement and up skilling of the teachers in PNG. Teachers are the key to the process of educating and development of a nation and its people,” he said.
“If we want an educated and developed PNG, we must ensure that we have a highly trained workforce, and teachers should be a prioritised group of people.

“UPNG thus identified this need and decided to develop and offer the program to this very group of people. A highly trained teaching workforce will adequately train and develop the human resource base of PNG,” he added.

UPNG is not mandated to train teachers. It is only complimenting the work of sister universities that provide teacher training in that “what we are doing is providing an opportunity to qualified and experience teachers to up skill themselves. Teachers of all levels of education should be educated to appropriate degree levels”.

Prof. Sumbuk thanked Vice Chancellor, Professor Les Eastcott, Open College Executive Director, Dr Thomas Webster and his associate directors, the University Council and Education Secretary, Peter Baki for their support and enabling SHSS to introduce and offer this degree program.

Dr Webster added that the bulk of the 416 students were selected from the Mt Hagen and NDC Open Campuses. Surveys showed that there are over 19,000 teachers who are eligible for further studies to upgrade their skills further and the new program developed by SHSS and offered through the Open College is specifically targeted at them. The program is among several other academic programs identified as suitable to be offered through the flexible mode.


Dr Webster (l) with Prof. Sumbuk and Mr Sakarape Kamene discuss the degree program.
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