Education. Papua New Guinea press review

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. James Marape said that all schools including private schools and tertiary institutions will reopen on Monday, the 17th of August 2020 and complete the academic year. Prime Minister has directed all schools to prepare for the resumption after two weeks lockdown in the National Capital District (NCD, Port Moresby), started after the COVID-19 outbreak. Prime Minister has urged all communities to adapt to COVID-19 and follow basic measures to combat the pandemic. According to Mr Marape, people must take this pandemic seriously and work towards decreasing COVID-19 cases. [1-2]

In turn, Education Secretary Dr. Uke Kombra says the 2020 academic year will be completed unless the COVID-19 situation worsens. According to officials, the closure of the academic year was a very serious matter and it affected the future of every student and it will affect the country economically and socially. Mr Kombra marked that they would only consider canceling classes for the rest of the year if COVID-19 reached all the provinces. In response to request for postponing the written expression exam for 12th year graders for at least a week to give students time to prepare, Mr Kombra said the Ministry could not postpone the exam: « It is just to test students’ competency on their basic skills and knowledge in reading, writing and comprehension that they have acquired in the 12 years of education», he said. [3]

However, the main high school in Papua New Guinea’s West Sepik Province may go into lockdown after a teacher tested positive for COVID-19. The teacher became the province’s first known coronavirus case, as the total number of confirmed cases in PNG is 271 people. Most of the cases were in the capital of Port Moresby, but infections had now spread to 10 of 22 PNG provinces. [4] [1]

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