Re: Postcourier dated 10/02/03 - Improvement of Salary
February 11 2003 at 1:33 AM
The recent statment made by the PM during Divine Word University's 21st graduation and I qoute: 'I want to say that this government wants to improve the quality of education and that can only be achieved through improving the capacity of teachers, beginning with primary level education' is very vital, however, the government's plan in that aspect cannot be achieveable unless it seriously focus on improving and maintaining the current deteriorating state of community/primary schools' facilities so that quality education can be achieveable. However, on the other end, quality education is not merely improving the capacity of teachers, improving and maintaining facilities but involves alot of things. Areas such as adequate funding, living conditions, pay rise, disadvantage allowance and many more must be taken into consideration to see that expected results are achieveable thus, producing quality education. The country can produce well qualified and experience teachers but unless everything is in place you cannot guarrantee quality education.
What about improving K-12 curriculum to achieve quality?
February 12 2003, 12:36 AM
Any initiative to improve working conditions for teachers is applaudable.
However, how about upgrading the current curriculum used in gov't-run schools to a level in par with Australia and New Zealand education system, esp. at the K-12 level, so as to improve the quality of education in PNG?
Areas that should be given a thorough review are the mathematics and science subjects taught at the K-12 level.
It amazes me to see developing countries in SE Asia, Fiji, North Africa, amongst others, have quality in their education systems, whereas the quality of education in PNG leaves a lot to be desired.
Quality ensures that students who continue on to universities or colleges are better prepared to do studies at these higher institutions of learning, than what PNG's K-12 level of education offers now in terms of grounding and preparedness.
It is long overdue for the PNG government/education department to improve quality in subjects taught in schools with reviews to its curriculum.
Re: What about improving K-12 curriculum to achieve quality?
February 12 2003, 2:04 AM
SRD, apart from what you have mentioned the current selection criteria used in selecting students to do grade 11 and 12 in secondary schools is unrealistic as it does not provide the basis for achieveable results. How can you be able to measure academic excellence when you have students scoring 4 Upper Passes are being selected to go to secondary schools. It does not reflect the quality of education that the government seemed to preach. I would agree with you by saying that indeed we need total review in the curriculum and also their is a need develop a curriculum that meets the Australian/New Zealand standards.
Maths and science in Nat/secondary schools need to be specified into specific areas to accomodate for higher education
to improve the maths and science levels in secondary schools, the level of English spoken or known by students has to improve. English is the barrier to a higher standard of maths and science, especially in science subjects such as chemistry and physics where the wording poses a lot of problems for students and thus makes the learning rate slower, therefore PNG highschool science and maths levels are a year behind the Australian level.
Concentrating on teachers may help, especially in primary level which molds the future of the children, being taught good english so young helps the rate at which PNG children learn.
Also upper passes DO NOT allow students to continue education in most places, due to the competition and the shortage of space. In Grade 12 all B's which use to enable students in the past a easy entry into uni, especially if the subjects they took included Physics and Chem, does not assure students now a place in university. There are many 'top-up' schools which allow many students to flow into secondary school, however because PNG has only two government run uni's many capable students are getting cut off and are left with a very grim future as they are unable to depand on the land as those before them were able to.
What is needed is more universities, preferably on the coast where it may be safer from land wrangles and so forth.
The level and quality of education is determined by the quality and level of the person delivering the knowledge.
If most of the teachers cannot speak english properly or are not good at whetever they are teaching, how do we expect the students to improve the level of thier education?
The emphasis should be placed on producing quality teachers so they can improve the level of education of the students in general.
Let me tell you that our teachers are not the brightest people in PNG. In a lot of the schools some students are brighter than the teachers!
Why not recruit teachers from Oz and NZ to teach at specially selected school where the cream of the country's top student will be selected to attend. This way smart student will compete against each other.
I know because I am a teacher!!
It has always been my firm belief that PNG can prosper if her people have sufficient health care and proper education, and ample attention and funding should be given to these two areas. PNG currently brings in teachers from Australia, New Zealand, and the US (under the US Peace Corp) to improve quality in education--as we have seen in the current arrangement involving PNG high schools.
Perhaps the concept of outsourcing of teachers (from other countries) for primary schools in PNG is something to look at also.
However, I firmly believe that a better curriculum is needed to improve the quality of education in PNG. A series of reviews and expansion in the curriculum to accomodate changes brought about globalization and the changing times are needed in our K-12 edcuation system, especially at the primary and secondary levels.
Teacher in-service and other courses must cater for and prepare PNG teachers for any changes and expansion in the curriculum, in-line with changes also to teaching materials and resources.
Teaching materials used in schools now are outdated, and are comparatively below standard to other developing countries within the same human and economic development indexes.
It will take gov't extra commitment and political will to ensure that ample funding is made to cater for changes to the curriculum and procurement of supporting teaching materials and resources. Curriculum expansion is vital for quality enhancement.
Education had been one of the main basis from which countries have prospered in their pursuit for economic growth and development, as we have seen from our East and SE Asian neighbors such as Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Japan, to name a few. It is quality in education that sets the standards.
These countries started from scatch and became economically properous, and education--quality education at that--was one of the main foundations catering for expansion. PNG can also do it, but with quality in its education system, and a proper curriculum.
I totally agree with you. Apart from outsourcing specialist teachers a change in curriculum is also needed.
The proposal to have elite schools is also a good one where the best stdents are selected from Community school from all over the country and are taught by specialist teachers (mentors. These elite boarding schools would have student from Year 9, 10, 11 and 12.
This sort of schools were in existence in the 60's were Busu High School catered girls and Sogeri catered for the boys.
Sending stident overseas only means a few of the kids get a good education (often these kids returna as bigheads).
If all the best teachers are councentrated into a few select high schools a lot more student would benefit.
what you have suggested--ie. to group bring together the cream of students under one school or a selected number of schools--is one way to offset the decline in the standard of education at the secondary school in PNG. I agree.
On curriculum reform, on the Post-Courier's (Feb. 14, 2003) Classifieds section, there is a call for expressions of interests to print the new National Assessment and Reporting Policy, under the AusAID funded Curriculum Reform Information Project (CRIP). It is reassuring to know that there is a program such as CRIP in place that seeks to address the short-falls brought about by the current curriculum.
It is good to see that the PNG Education Department as well as AusAID, PNG's development partner, have realize the need for curriculum reform and had initiated and funded the CRIP program. By the way, could you or anyone who knows the details of the project inform us of the areas that attention is given to under this curriculum reform initiative please? I am interested to know.
It is a very brilliant move by the PNG Education Department and its partner AusAID to ensure that something of national concern is addressed under this CRIP proagramme and I am sure many eduaction institutions and parents will appreciate this initiative. We need a curriculm that is workable and measurable so that teaching and learning objectives are met. It will be interesting to know what the nature of this CRIP will do. I would also suggest if some one could elaborate further on this project.
SRD, Didn't the Gov. Cut Funding for Education in its last Bugdget?
February 16 2003, 5:56 AM
You guys are talking about GRIP and AUSAID partnership.
OK I am trying to remember a project that was funded through this sort of thing. What became of that project, from what I can remember if I am correct, if I can find the information again I will post it here, didn't the money go missing from that project and it is left unfinished?
"GRIP" isn't that another way of the Ed. Dp diverting the money. How is AUSAID going to monitor the project? Is the partnership by AUSAID, does that mean Education Miniter from Australia be responsible for overseeing "GRIP" through to the acquital of that "ear marked" money?
I see that some of the students are not interested in their country's development. Take and give days are well gone in any society. Even if the country gives the best education, it is down to an individual.
I disagree with some of the suggestings put forward by Maru, there is no money really to set up such ventures or going back to the 60's system.
Talking about private schools (do you mean the schools that are run by the church groups) and the state schools ( public schools)wouldn't the church groups get more funding than the public schools? Comparing the level of education -, that is a big issue SRD in Australia too. But I won't touch that because the forum is discussing PNG's level of education. Do you think "categorising" (putting students into little boxes) of students in PNG is wise?
I am out of touch with the Edu System in PNG, but from what I can gather, well enough said!!
Re: SRD, Didn't the Gov. Cut Funding for Education in its last Bugdget?
February 16 2003, 9:20 PM
You have raised a valid point of project funding regarding curriculum reform and development in PNG; in light of the AusAID experience with funds it provided for a certain education-relation project in the past had been misused. [I am not privy to information surrounding that project. Perhaps you could enlighten us on its background and what it has achieved (or failed to achieve) in terms of funding and implementation].
Also, you have hinted that there are variations in the level of education in Australia, and further clarity is needed on this issue and how it relates to the situation in PNG.
As you can see, I used the call for expressions of interest from bidders for an AusAID-funded printing job, which appeared in the Post-Courier [Friday, February 14, 2003 issue], to point out that currently moves under CRIP to address problems faced with the current curriculums used in PNGfs primary and secondary schools is commendable. In other words, any initiatives to review and address the shortfalls brought by the current curriculum, and subsequent implementation of reform [whether or not the funding is from the PNG government or a foreign government] is appreciated.
However, I would least want to indulge on the intricacies of foreign aid and its application, management, usefulness and benefits, or lack of, in PNG regarding curriculum reforms and development. Instead, I have opted to stay in line with the topic at hand; which is reforms and quality enhancement of education in PNG. [NB: the PNG government can also can give priority to and increase budget appropriations to cater for curriculum reviews and reform, which should cost far less than the cost of previous education policies and reforms undertaken].
My primary interest is in policy formulation in-line with the rationale to increase the level of education in the prescribed areas so as to enhance quality in the education system as a strategy for poverty reduction in PNG in the long-term. Quality education is what is lacking in PNG now in its quest for development and poverty reduction. The primary and secondary school curriculums in PNG are out-dated and revisions and reforms are needed to keep abreast of the changing times and the changes brought about globalization.
Any reform taken also should focus on reducing the disparities brought about by social, regional, provincial, rural-urban and gender variations, within the set unit cost of general education, which covers the costs of each pupil (for one year), teaching and study materials and teacher training to enhance quality of teaching. The reform should focus on bringing the level of education in PNG in par with that of other countries, and a cost-effective benchmark set to maintain performance levels.
Fiji and other developing SE Asian countries are way ahead of PNG in terms of quality in their general education system. PNG needs to catch up.
From the information I gathered is that the Curriculum Reform Implementation Project (CRIP) funded by AusAID had been around for three years, and it is likely to be renewed due to the satisfying results produced. Through the CRIP Elementary and Primary Curriculum statements/goals had been completed. The elementary and primary syllabuses completed. Regional training for teachers and inspectors at these two levels have been ongoing and this should assist teachers to implement the new syllabuses properly. They are also doing the same thing with secondary school syllabuses. The project is said to be exciting and it is anticipated that through these efforts our children will be able to learn skills and knowledge relevant to society living, and further education.
In light of this, the government must spell out clearly the objective of this project so that teachers and education institutions are made aware of the initiative that is being developed. I wonder whether schools and the public are well informed of the curriculum review/reform that is currently being implemented.
What do one really mean by quality education. What is quality to you may not be necessarily quality to another or moreso appropriate to others. On this bases as much as possible the Department of education tries to keep a curriculum that caters for the need of the majority including rural mass and the few urban elites.
Improving the quality of teacher education is a national government function. What should be of real concern to you 'Maru' and the lot is how you would improve the quality of the Input (child). How are the parents preparing their children before entry into formal education.
What is it that makes the difference between a bright and not so bright child who a taught by the same teacher. Parents, home influence makes the difference.
We do need specialist teachers in Mathematics and sciences but PNG teachers are better qualified than teachers from many developing countries. Very soon PNG will start lossing teachers to Indonesia and already there a few teaching in UK, Australia and NZ.
Any country's education system is only as good as the society it's design to serve.
Education system serve the needs of the majority not for the sake of the few minority. The fact of the matter is that 80% of our people are still out there in rural areas and we can not leave them behind or design two different curriculum, one for them and the urban bias.
For those advocating for a change in curriculum may be you do the scope and sequence of your intended curriculum from EP to Gr 12 and justify that it serves the need of all PNG school age children detailing all linkages from grade to grade.
Lets not be like many African countries where non professional having input into the curriculum only to over load it and not knowing where to start even worse not knowing what should and should'nt be in the curriculum.
PNG is doing well. What we need is better parenting, society's support and appropriate level of state funding.
Chokz, i'm not sure if you have experienced education at a government school, yes we do need children to have positive input for them to be sufficiently educated and as competition increases the PNG students of today are realising that, and are placing greater importance on acadamic success than was done so in the past.
The point being argued however is whether or not the actual level of education being taught at schools, both primary and secondary is reasonable, and my conclusuion is that it needs to improve.
Yes we do have some good Papua New Guinean teachers so what should be done is to bring other teachers who are lagging up to these standards and improve their commitment to their job and the education of the future of PNG.
being in Asia [and the hell with Australia and NZ education models ], I have come to know what the value of quality in education means when it comes to developing a nation. Take Japan for instance. From the rubbles of war to economic superpower, and in suit [note Suehara 1992 et al], other Asian countries followed, and its is a race to 'catch up' with Japan. Education has been the basis for their 'catch up' industrial and development models.
[NB: I have yet to see a face of a politician on the currency bills of a country such as Japan. The only faces on the notes are those of academics who are held with respect, respect and with great reverence]
Though reluctant, what I am going to give is my own experience as a PNG student in Asia. What the education system in PNG offered me at the secondary level was nothing compared to the prepardness of my classmates, mainly from SE Asia, North Africa and Fiji, when given mathematical problems, equations and models to work on and solve. [NB: Like those students, I came to Japan on the same Japanese govt scholarship program]. Those countries are just like PNG with similar developing challenges and experiences. I noted that they had a far better grounding in mathematics and sciences in order to tackle the challenges, and I could only wished that PNG had a better curriculum.
The reforms in the eduaction system in PNG focused on efficiency but had more to do with cost savings. But quality in education was left wanting. This has been my own point. What about quality? Can something be done about it? Can PNG primary and secondary education curriculums be brought up to be in par with the level of other developing countries, such as those that I have mentioned?