Rural students cannot access online system: MP

In Parliament today, the higher education minister was questioned on the accessibility of the National Online Application System.

Nawaeb MP Kennedy Wenge queried how rural students were expected to apply online when they do not have access to computers or the internet.

For the second time in Parliament, Wenge outlined that schools are not only located in cities or urban areas.

The World Bank reported in 2016 that 86.96 percent of PNG’s population live in the rural areas.

Wenge told Parliament that rural-based students, including those from his electorate in Morobe Province, are at a disadvantage following the introduction of the National Online Application System.

“Disla ol lain we i no save lo kompiuta lo skul blo ol na i kam kam kam olgeta lo Gredi 12 tudei, ba ol i go insait na ba ol i tok wanem lo ol?

“So ol bus skul kain olsem sampla blo mi lo Nawaeb, inap yu givim taim long ol lo ol ken raitim disla lo pepa o nogat?”

Higher education Minister Pila Niningi did not directly answer the Nawaeb MP’s question, therefore Madang MP Bryan Kramer intervened with a point of order, rephrasing the question.

In response, Niningi says all a child needs is a phone.

“Does your child have a telephone (sic)? They can apply.

“We will also show the Member for Madang, in Parliament, how you can use the telephone…if he doesn’t know,” Niningi said amidst laughter from his colleagues, quite oblivious to the fact that he was actually holding up a ‘mobile’ phone.

“We will show him next week when we set up the screen and we will show how we do the selection.

“And so honourable member, I think your question is good, gutpla kwesten tasol lo dipatment blo mi, i go lo olgeta nesenol hai skuls, mipla I titsim ol na they all understand. Olgeta skul ol i save hau lo aplai lo em. Mi no ting disla em stretpla kwesten.”

(Nawaeb MP Kennedy Wenge)

Carmella Gware