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Re: Re: Tokples literacy

December 1 2011 at 8:06 PM
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Attrition & Agglomeration - say it in pidgin 


Response to Re: Tokples literacy

Hi,

Thanks for putting down your ideas for a PNG education system. Good on the government for finally recognizing and putting money behind the importance of health and education to the development and prosperity of PNG now and for generations to come! I hope that the funds are directed as intended.. but that is another point.

I think a lot of your views are valid and I have some general comments.
– Elementary education should be free – to allow all children to get core literacy and numeracy foundantion and meet millennium development goals. So I agree. In countries such as mexicos they such as serving morning teas – so that children get healthy meals (where often they didn’t eat or had deficient diets and so didn’t concentrate and learn at schools). Further parents received tax breaks or vouchers for other things – if their children had good school attendance.
– Primary and secondary subsidized education – on an individual student basis based place of residence may not be a great solution. How would this be implemented? – families line up to get the money (wantok system effects), or the school applies to the government for subsidy (fudge the facts). People can lie about their place of residence – there is no easy way of verifying addresses. Funding for schools based on their catchment of students may be a better basis for school subsidization and passed on lower fees. Again subsidies to schools should be incentivized e.g. subject to a degree of performance assessment.
– Tertiary loan facility – I think is an ok idea – but should be subject to meeting some minimum course requirements or…you get professional students - there for a free ride. Then if the graduates then enter the informal sector, are self employed they don’t pay. It only works if employers with a tax file number, are required make tax payments – i.e. deductions on a person’s pay packet. With less pay each fortnightly – is more of an incentive not to work in the formal sector – particularly in city areas where rent prices are ridiculous and people struggle to get by. If a person’s qualifications are internationally recognize – they might migrate…then you don’t get a repayment on the loan or a return to PNG – through their professional contributions.
– Scholarships - definitely so that the brightest are given the opportunities to excel – the future academics, entrepreneurs and leaders of PNG. I would suggest scholarships be available at all available at all levels of education – provided it is not too politicized or wantok system. Perhaps standardized and central PNG exams (e.g. Grade 6, Grade 10 exams etc) – on basis of performance on a school and regional basis.

I agree that English should be taught in all schools earlier on – for PNG to be internationally competitive and encourage international investment (English literate workforce). Further there are a plethora of existing educational resources – books, videos, CDs, internet – that is in English – and should be accessible to students and use for critical analysis. The reason that the founding PNG governments – pushed for traditional languages to be first taught in schools, then pidgin then English – had little to do with the ability for children to learn English by starting with a familiar language – but rather preservation of culture and traditions through the ability to tell their stories in their language. Yes it is important that there is a degree of preservation – but languages in their full sophistication are dying with elders – and people intermarry between different language groups – so families are more likely to speak pidgin in the home. Traditional languages were not traditionally written – there are no traditional alphabets. Further pidgin has limitations as a language on expression of sophisticated knowledge. Pidgin is a bastardised and derived language adopted for the purposes of trade in the region. English is the 21st century – language of trade – I think that Chinese should also be taught in schools as a subject.
I agree that entrepreneurial skills should be taught in schools early. Critical thinking is also important.

Investment in teachers – our human capital – I agree is important. I think that international exchanges and international support networks is an excellent idea. Perhaps it be coupled with formal training. I think that if performance and attendance for teachers were incentivized e.g. reward and recognition – that you would get improvement in attendance.
The cost of internet is high – but PNG has the benefit of limited existing infrastructure – and thus can benefit from increasingly cheaper mobile internet infrastructure.
I agree with ‘my say’ another aspect of the integrated solution apart from students and teachers – is teaching infrastructure. I hope that with the K1b plus roll out that it includes teaching materials and classrooms. Perhaps to kill two birds with one stone – that local government offices – get fast internet provided that at those offices there is allocated space and computer terminals so that the public and students to get cheap or free (voucher system) internet. That is provided people don’t steal computers or dig up cables – and undermine all efforts.

 
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About this board - the Kumul Discussion Forum is administered and set up by PNGScape with the permission of the founder of the board and the Kumul Foundation pursuant to the Kumul Foundation's object of facilitating discussion and debate on issues of significance to Papua New Guinea's national development. The old Kumul board can be found at www.voy.com/1950/ Discussion must be conducted respectfully, and rationally, with the object being that the dissemination of ideas will lead to action that will contribute to PNG's ongoing development.

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