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Wednesday, 24 November 1965

Mr BARNES (Mcpherson) (Minister for Territories) . - by leave - Some time ago I announced that the Government was considering the possibility of international assistance for such educational projects in Papua and New Guinea as the new university, the technical education institute, the provision of science laboratory equipment, teacher training and adult education. I now inform the House that two missions from the United Nations will shortly visit Australia and Papua and New Guinea to discuss four projects that might possibly be appropriate for assistance. A joint mission from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the United Nations Special Fund led by Dr. William Lightfoot, a U.N.E.S.C.O. specialist in teacher training, will explore possibilities for the Special Fund to provide over a five year period staff and equipment for the Institute of Higher Technical Education in the Territory and assistance for the development of facilities for higher level teacher training and educational research. The mission will also consider the possibility of assistance over two years for consultant services for science teaching in Territory schools to be funded under the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance and to be carried out with the assistance of U.N.E.S.C.O.

A United Nations Children's Fund, or U.N.I.C.E.F., and U.N.E.S.C.O. mission comprising Professor T. K. N. Menon U.N.E.S.C.O. Education Adviser, Bangkok, and Mr. Y. C. Chen, Chief of the

U.N.I.C.E.F. Office, Taipei, will discuss assistance from U.N.I.C.E.F. over five years in providing staff and equipment for the development of science teaching in primary and secondary schools in Papua and New Guinea. It is expected that the two missions will spend up to three weeks in the Territory. They will be fact finding and advisory and of course without commitment. Any proposal which was the subject of a request would need to be consistent with the overall objective of the Territory's balanced development and could not involve unbalancing or distorting policies applying in the particular field concerned, whether education, health, economic development, or some other field of activity. Whether the present missions result in formal requests for aid will be a matter for decision in the light of their visit. But as I have stated previously the Government will not hesitate to take advantage of international assistance when such assistance can make a proper contribution in any field of progress.

I present the following paper -

International Aid for Education in Papua and New Guinea - Ministerial Statement, 24th November 1965 - and move -

That the House take note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Whitlam) adjourned.

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