La Salle Technical College (LTCH) in the Port Moresby suburb of Hohola was established to provide academic and trade training opportunities for young people who were not accepted into a secondary school. LTCH is recognised by the government as a “permitted school” which means that its courses and programs are recognised by the government but it receives no regular government funding.
The population of Port Moresby has grown rapidly as a result of rural-urban drift and also because of large family sizes. Three years ago, the government promised free tuition for primary education, resulting in greatly increased student numbers at primary schools. However, there was, and continues to be, no commensurate increase in the number of schools, classrooms and teachers to cater for the increased number of students, so the solution used is to increase class sizes up to 65. Places for students achieving the standard to enter secondary education were already at breaking point prior to 2021, with the result this year that many eligible students are unable to continue post-primary education.
La Salle Technical College has introduced an additional class at Grade 9 in 2021, with a further class added to Grade 10 in 2022. The new classes will accommodate an additional 55 students at each grade level.
The project involves the conversion of an existing space at the College into a classroom and a print room that will produce and store teaching materials. Furniture for the classroom and print room was sourced from a container shipment from Australia. Donors are currently being sort to cover the $42,000 required to cover the cost of the conversion.