Deal to bring more students

Palmerston North is set to become a second home for increasing numbers of Indonesian students and teachers after a formal sealing of an agreement in the city yesterday.

Mayor Jono Naylor and vice-governor of the Jambi province Fachrori Umar signed a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for more educational visits and exchanges.

Relationship deals were also signed with UCOL, Palmerston North Boys' High School and the Massey College of Education.

Mr Umar said Jambi had identified education as a key priority for improving the standard of living for people in Jambi, a province on Sumatra.

Its economy was growing based on mining and agriculture, but it needed better infrastructure and higher education standards to achieve its vision of prosperity.

Only 72 per cent of children were enrolled at primary school, with 42 per cent progressing to high school, and only 9 per cent going on to university.

"Education is very important to free us from poverty."

Assisting more exchange students to study in other countries, particularly New Zealand, and encouraging teachers to advance their qualifications was an important part of reaching its targets.

Mr Naylor welcomed the Jambi delegation's recognition of Palmerston North as a place with a proven strength in education, and in accepting and understanding people from different cultures.

Boys' High rector David Bovey said the ceremony put the ingredients of people, relationships and education together in an equation that offered students from Palmerston North and Jambi an opportunity to learn much more than they could within the four walls of a classroom.

Manawatu Standard