PNG Education System Structural Change 2015 Demands More Awareness, Resources and Teachers


Here are some perceived information that I thought would be useful for parents and teachers with regards to changes to education structure, the 2-6-6. This, as we know, will be implemented this academic year starting from elementary to primary and secondary schools in the country. 

The obvious changes from 2-6-6 are:

1) children will have to start school as early as 5 years of age, not at 6 or 7 years
2) children will spend 14 years at lower education levels, not 12 years
3) children will learn, speak, read and write in English from Elementary school, not Tokples
4) children at early years need specialist teachers and assistant teachers, not any grade 6 or 10 dropouts
5) bridging at grade 6 (primary) -  grade 7 (secondary), not at grade 8 - grade 9

With the expansion in years (including early start) and change from Tokples back to English at the early years means there is demand for specialist teachers, especially at elementary schools.

The early learning years are pivotal in shaping children's future. Such a change is only good if it is planned well and implemented, supported by both parents and well trained teachers.

Primary and secondary teachers who have been teaching 'bridging' grades may have to adjust to new structure. Teachers who taught grade 7 or 8 at primary schools must prepare to step-down to lower grades. That could possibly mean that your salary (if it is based on your level) could be less than what you earned last year.

Secondary school teachers must now embrace the fact that they could be teaching grades 7 and 8. This would be a real challenge this year given that the resources available at secondary schools are for year 9 up. 

This change is doomed to have a rough start if both parents and teachers do not know what to do. Fact.

The situation on the ground seemed far from reality when parents and teachers have little or no clue as to what they are expecting. The minister for education and education secretary would have to get their heads together and tell the nation what is expected when the academic years start in February. 

Reports from Post Courier can be seen below

Problem highlighted by PNGTA general secretary Ugwalubu Mowana

By NELLIE SETEPANO [Post Courier 05/01/2015]

THE school year begins in the first week of February but schools may not be ready for the new standards-based education curriculum and the 2-6-6 system, says the Papua New Guinea Teachers Association.

The association thinks these directives had arrived too quickly for schools to implement, although they were introduced since 2011.

Three years on, there was no awareness and proper planning given to schools and teachers on these directives. Both lacked proper awareness, teacher training and schools do not have readily teaching resources and infrastructure to implement these directives.

Only a rushed training was done towards the end of this year in Port Moresby on the Standards Based Education or Curriculum.

PNGTA general secretary Ugwalubu Mowana said at the weekend that implementing the directives this year, would cause a lot of confusion and in the end students will be greatly affected.

Standards based education was all about improving education standards in schools. These come in the form of teacher preparations and professional development, examinations, inspections; school governance and restructuring of school system and structures are some of the many components that would be improved by a standards based education curriculum.

The 2-6-6 structure includes two years of elementary, six years of primary education and six years of secondary education.

Towards the end of last year, Education Secretary Michael Tapo said he was confident that teaching materials and awareness on the two new structures are ready to implement in the 2015 academic year.

Mr Mowana told the Post-Courier that it was impossible for these government directives to be implemented when teachers had little or no awareness and lacked necessary training and schools lacked much infrastructure to cater for the big exchange of students from one school to another. He said the two systems would cause chaos in schools.

~~~~~Related stories ~~~~

Educators trained on new curriculum | Too much politics, too much talk, nothing done, Dr Michael Tapo PNG Education Secretary

By NELLIE SETEPANO [Post Courier, 05/01/2015]

MANY teachers are still waiting for their leave fares but the PNG Teachers Association has announced it will provide financial assistance this week for teachers to sue for their tickets.

The PNGTA General Secretary Ugwalubu Mowana said the PNGTA had no other alternatives but to resort to court action for the thousands of its members still stranded at their various schools nationwide.

At the weekend he warned the Government to address the teachers leave fares to allow teachers to travel home for their holidays or the country could face industrial action next month, the beginning of the academic year.

Mr Mowana was concerned that the unpaid leave fares for 2014 were a time bomb waiting to explode.

He cited other issues that teachers were frustrated about, including the standard based education and the 2-6-6 system, which were earmarked to begin this year.

Mr Mowana said these policies were shoved down the necks of schools for teachers to implement without proper awareness and training, lack of resources and infrastructure.

The 2-6-6 structure is a government policy to be introduced into public schools this year, which will have elementary schools having two years of education, primary schools and secondary schools to have six years for each.

He also pointed out that teacher appointments for 2015 is also a problem in some provinces. Mr Mowana is saddened and at the same time frustrated that the leave fare problem has become an annual problem that has never been addressed thoroughly over the years.

"The PNGTA will support its members in the provinces financially with legal fees starting this week."

"Although this is an expensive way to deal with this issue, we have no other alternative but to go to the courts," Mr Mowana said.

He noted that the teacher leave fares is one of 13 recommendations by the Parliamentary Referral Committee on Education, that the secretary is hopeful government will address for the good of teachers. The leave fare issue has become a contentious issue for the Government.



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