Showing posts with label Grade 8. Grade 10. Grade 12. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grade 8. Grade 10. Grade 12. Show all posts

Grades 10 and 12 Examinations Dates

The examinations for Grades 10 and 12 will go ahead as planned and scheduled on the Education Calendar. 


2019 Exam Dates


Grade 10 exams start the second week of October, which is week 3 of term 4. Grade 10 Examination Schedule - days and dates
Grade 10 Exams


The Grade 12 Exams start in the third week of October (which is week 4 of term 4 school term) and continues for 1 week according to the Education Calendar. There is no changes as of the date of this post. 
Grade 12 Exams

The headmasters and principals should be well aware of these dates. Parents and stakeholders must note that there is no change to the exam schedules, unless stated otherwise by the Education Department in Waigani.

Pathway For Grade 8 and 10: PNG Government To Increase Vocational Training Centres from 141 to 325, One LLG One VTC


Policy and documents on TVET
In 2013 there were 141 provincial vocational centres (up from 132 in 2009) and 9 technical and business colleges in Papua New Guinea. The number of colleges excludes Police College, Bible Institutes and others that have opened recently.

In fact, the need to improve Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) was well documented since 2005, evident in TVET policy 2005 [pdf]. The case study  by a Patrol Maino also provided a great deal of insight on expansion of TVET titled Efforts In Reorienting Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET) System In Papua New Guinea (PNG) To The Global Economy [pdf, 2013]. The documents gave depth to developing TVET programs. 

These written documents explicitly echoed the need for government (who is the driving force for change) to invest in training at vocational level for Grade 8 and Grade 10 school leavers. Had the government and TVET division of education had done it right, there would be a good number of skilled workers in the country by now.


This does not mean either the government or the TVET division had done nothing. Actually they have done some fantastic jobs over the years. But, what is needed now is to take into account the HIGH number of students leaving school at the end of Grade 8 and Grade 10.


There is an urgent need to look into expanding capacity, finding avenues for job placements for vocational trainees and helping them to find their place in the society- an attractive package has to be developed for them now. 

There are no more that 150 semi funded vocational centres and technical secondary schools around - not enough to take in a good number of Grade 8 and 10 drop-outs. As a result, the TVET division must realise how important it has become of late.

The course work and curricula, workshop practicals, work placement and continuous training are the main areas needed both the government and TVET division of education (urgent) attention.

Government to put the money where its mouth is

Is it too late for the government to take an interest in this forgotten generation? The answer is no. It is not (never) too late. The need to harness the power of Grades 8 and 10 school-leavers is increasing as the number of these young people leaving school increases. If this population is left to its own, the nation will see a generation of unskilled young people who are good for nothing, but burdensome. 

Skills learnt early is vital. There is nothing wrong with the existing training provided at vocational and technical schools. The problem is that the national and provincial governments have been doing very little to improve vocational training in the country.

In the past, vocational training centres where set up to cater for the then Grade 6 school leavers. However, with the structural change [1993], Grades 8 and 10 school leavers have been competing for a space at vocational centres. Recent figures showed that 96% of Grade 8 and 94% of Grade 10 students drop out of school. These group of kids have little or no chance to enter a college, or institute or university. Many colleges and technical institutions are taking in Grade 12.


The Grades 8 and 10 are the ones who are in desperate need for attention. These are  the youths who between 15 and 18 years of age. We can not neglect them!

There is a genuine need for the government to develop a strong base by focusing on vocational training for students leaving at Grades 8 and 10. There is a difference between building a skilled and knowledgeable generation, and merely educating a population. Unless (and until) the politicians and education leaders see this difference, their attempt to achieve any development goals will be nothing but a wasted opportunity.

Each Local Level Government (LLG) to have a vocational training centre

To make a difference is to invest in those 15 to 18 years old. Is it too much to ask? Why not every Local Level Government is task with building its own vocational training centre? Why shouldn't each LLG have its own technical secondary school? Papua New Guinea has three hundred and twenty five (325) local level governmental boundaries. A government focused on developing its younger generation must also have 325 vocational centres - 141 is not enough. A responsible government must build 184 more vocational training centres. This is the right thing to do if PNG is to harness the power in this forgotten generation.


I would like to take a look at Pathway for Grade 12 – what is available for them and how the school leavers can be seen to have fitted into the system. This will be the next topic Teach Them How To Fish series on PNG Insight.

***Knowing how many of those institutions are available is not easy as no updated data is available online or I may not have seen any relevant data during my Internet search to compile this post. If you are reading this, you can do your part by including the institutions that are not available here – Wikipedia.


Access vs Retention: Statistics Favours Improving Vocational Training and Apprenticeship Schemes Than Phasing-out Examinations



Grades 8, 10 and 12 students are on a long Christmas Holiday - three months of rest and respite. Some are heading back to the villages, others to town and cities. Whilst they are enjoying their vocations, they are sure to ask two important questions: How have I performed in the national examinations?;  Will I be selected to continue to the next level?

The first question can only be ascertained by each student depending on how good they were leading up the exams. Students performance in exams can be attributed to several factors such as how well they prepared (were prepared) for the exams as well as Nature and Nurture. May the best students be given one of the limited places they rightfully deserve.

This brings me to the second question.

Based on the proportion of tertiary places available this year and the preceding years,  96% of Grades 8, 92% of Grade 10 and 81% of Grade 12 students will NOT make it to a tertiary institution this year. By this I mean only the select few will end up in Universities, colleges, vocational centres and other higher learning set-ups. 

Those fortunate enough to continue should be congratulated. They have earned the right to proceed. They passed exams - they can enjoy the privileges (pride) and challenges higher educational institutions bring. And deservedly, they should hold their heads up and be proud to continue. 

What about the bulk of students who would not have continued? What will they do? It saddened me to think that the first year out of formal education, little or nothing is available to those students. What can be done now to take them on board the education train?

It is imperative to note that the planned phasing out of examinations at Grades 8 and 10 will NOT improve the number of students entering tertiary institutions. It will further decrease university access rate (ACCESS), but only maintain the number passing through from Grade 8 to 10 to 12 (RETENTION). 

Take for instance, this year (2015) over 120, 000 grade 8 students sat exams. This number as a percentage of 4500 spaces (at tertiary institutions) is 96%. In actual fact, if the government phases out Grades 8 and 10 examinations, about 120, 000 to 150, 000 students are likely to end up completing Grade 12. The problem of retention is addressed, but the problem of access to higher education is not solved. It remains the same. 

Other factors needed thorough consideration before exams are phased out are the availability of resources, number of teachers as well as primary and secondary schools capacity to hold larger students' population. This exercise, if goes ahead, will put huge strain on schools ability to function.

It was good news to have heard that the Minister of higher education has given out cheques to several universities in the country to expand their capacities. This shows that there is likely to be an increase in spaces at tertiary institutions. But, what is the projection - what number are we talking about in 5 - 10 years time? 

A mere 4500 - 10, 000 spaces would not be enough to suffice the appetite for higher education. For the sake of reasoning,  if we put an estimate that in the next 5 years 150, 000 grade 12 students will vie for a tertiary institution space. The spaces increased (from current 4500) to 10, 000. Still there wont be any improvement - nil. 

For it to work, the government needs to improve university/higher education access rate to over 50% of Grade 12 graduating population. The fact now is that this change will make NO difference as far as access is concerned. 

Papua New Guinea will STILL have Grade 12 drop-put rate of over 90% in the next 5 to 10 years with this change- the same as today! 

So the public statements about phasing out examination has to be backed by some foresight. By this I do not mean make examinations history- no. The public examination system has to be strengthened - made rigorous. Address the problem of cheating. Empower Measurement Service Division. Or, come up with alternative measures to overhaul and make examination processes tough - challenging. 

The question of catering for those who have passed (are passing) out of the formal education system can be addressed by focussing on Internship, apprenticeship schemes and vocational training. I will exploit this in the next topic (Give 'Them' A Fish And You Feed 'Them' For A Day - Teach Them How to Fish) on PNG-Insight. 

Meanwhile, here is what I've posted several month ago on the Key To Addressing Skill Shortage and Grades 8, 10 and 12 Pass-outs

RETENTION: A SHOCKING 96% OF PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS DO NOT MAKE IT TO TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

PNG government and education department would have realised that a large portion of teenagers is missing out on higher education. Stats are indicating a sad situation where over 96% of primary school students are pushed out of the system just 4 years before they could have had a chance to get a tertiary education. 

The point here is not about Grade 12 students entering colleges or universities, but to have a plan for MOST of the Year 8s to get a tertiary education. It is important to take them on board the education train, then to leave them on their own to fend for themselves when it comes to education at such an early age.

The  Acting Education Secretary, Dr Kombra, in a newspaper report revealed that this year 120 000 Grade 8, 59 000 Grade 10 and 23 200 Grade 12 students would be taking national examinations. But, there are fewer than 4500 spaces at tertiary institutions.

Take a look at the table showing numbers of students at grades 8, 10 and 12 compared to spaces available to them after leaving school at the age of 18 years.



Retention is the problem, not drop out: students do drop out at will sometimes but those pushed out are more than those leaving. So, the government has the responsibility to do something- anything it can- to increase spaces at tertiary level. If this trend is left unchecked, government's plan to give younger generation a proper education would not be realised.

Primary and secondary schools (then community and high schools) mushroomed whereas spaces at tertiary institutions remain low since structural changes took place. Number of students entering lower and upper secondary schools increases proportionately, too.

One can also argue that number of students is further growing as a result of government's free education policy. Go back to the village and you'll find youngsters are going back to classroom after years outside. This not a bad thing. The point is where else do they go after they are given this second chance, or what can be done to improve their chance of getting into universities and colleges. 

If the government is really serious about educating the younger generations, it has to start putting its money where the mouth is - increase retention within the system, especially at higher level of education.

This does not mean only creating new institutions if it needs to, but also expanding number of spaces available to students at existing higher learning institutions. This is surely not a lot to ask. Why giving Year 8 students false hope - hope that one day they could be entering a university or college when 96% are bound for the villages or streets?

Any goals in our National education plans, medium or long term, would not be of any meaning if only 4% of 15 and 16 year olds will enter higher learning institutions. It would be BETTER if 96% make it through, wouldn’t it? The onus is now on the government and leaders in education circles to see through the problem and find an immediate solution.  


Apprenticeship Scheme: Upskill Grades 8, 10 and 12 Dropouts – Government To Fund, Industry Majors to Implement the Scheme



Recent Opposition statement reported in the media about developing skilled workforce in Papua New Guinea cannot come at the right time when over 80% Grade 12 students were unable to secure a place in tertiary institution. 

It is important to note that the K3.7 billion mentioned by the Opposition leader is a lot of money, especially when it is aligned with skill development. Program duration (How long it will take) and checks and balances remains to be seen.

The Opposition said ‘revenue to implement this policy would be sourced from the proceeds of LNG tax, resale of controversial K3 billion UBS loan and the Sovereign Wealth Fund via parliamentary budgetary process.’ [PNG Loop 19/02/2015]

It seems Don Polye, who was once deputy prime minister and treasurer, knows well how much money is floating around in government coffers. This is just politics but there is merit in his statement.

In the early years of our nation (1950s – 1960s) students choices were limited but policy makers can learn from it. Those who continued to be teachers and pastors were able to read and write well.

On the other hand, given the demand for work force, others became mechanics, drivers, operators, labourers and nurses among other skilled jobs. Many of the early schoolers have worked with construction companies like Dillingham Brothers, Department of Works and subcontractors to build the national highway we now called the Okuk Highway. Others started in Bougainville, Port Moresby and Lae during and after independence and eventually settled in various parts of the country.

So, why am I retelling the story of my father? He was a form 2 going onto form 3 but decided to be a mechanic. So he did – he became a Heavy Diesel Fitter Mechanist a few years after leaving school. His was successful in finding a place because there was demand for workers from companies like Bougainville Copper Mine, Dillingham Brothers and subcontractors.

Any government who wishes to develop skills today will have to create a working plan. A plan that would take into consideration the Grades 8, 10 and 12. And, how these young men and woman can be given the change to develop to their full potential. Begin by asking if are there any companies in Papua New Guinea who would want to make space for the 15 – 16 (Grade 8s), or 17 – 18 (Grade 10s) or 19 – 20 (Grade 12s) year olds. 

The key words are vocational training and apprenticeship. How can the Government creative incentives to attract companies to take in dropouts?

The Opposition (an alternative government) must know that with a K3.7 billion skill development plan, they do not have to create lots of vocational schools, or technical colleges of poly technological institutions. It is not only important to expand the facilities and resources, but to secure a working environment where newbies can rub shoulders with experts. This must be done through work placements and apprentice programs.

In fact, apprenticeship schemes are best programs as students are going to be working with company’s experts and equipment. No doubt, companies will welcome manpower addition to their workforce. But they will not want to pay or accommodate as they are companies wanting to make profit.

If a government comes up with a funded scheme, companies may step in to help. Unlike the early years, today there are World scale extractive, manufacturing, agricultural, building and logging industries in the country. Our current generation can be given the best opportunity if the Government creates are workable platform for companies to take in dropouts.


The opposition have come up with an alternative plan to develop skills. This was a call that came at a time when over 80% of Grades 8, 10 and 12 were dropping out of main stream school. Any government-private partnership for developing skill set in those age groups would be a step in the right direction.