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Bishop Dominikus Saku of Atambua is urging the East Nusa Tenggara provincial government to pay serious attention to education following bad results in recent national exams.
The results meant that senior high schools in East Nusa Tenggara, a predominantly Catholic region, finished bottom of national performance tables for the second year running.
“We, the Catholic Church, will support an education revolution in this province,” the prelate told several interreligious leaders at a meeting yesterday in Kupang, the provincial capital.
“The revolution, in this case, refers to educational management, teacher professionalism, budgets, infrastructure and human resources,” the prelate added.
He said educational management needs a major overhaul over the next five to ten years.
“With regards to budget, the provincial government should think about offering scholarships to gifted children from poor families. By doing so, these children can compete with others at a national level,” he argued.
He also urged authorities to think about the welfare of teachers so that they can concentrate better on preparing their students for national exams next year.
East Nusa Tenggara governor Fransiskus Lebu Raya however, brushed aside the ranking of schools, saying the province had achieved its target of increasing the number of graduates.
“It is true this province finished bottom of the rankings this year. However, we focused on increasing the percentage of pupils graduating. And we succeeded since 94.43 percent of senior high school students who took the exams graduated,” he asserted.
“We can understand if some people are concerned about our low ranking. This should motivate us to do better in the future,” he said.
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