Showing posts with label Morobe Provincial Education Adviser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morobe Provincial Education Adviser. Show all posts

Provincial Education Advisers and Administrative Officers Are Misusing Teachers' Leave Fares

(former Education Officer in charge of teachers' leave fares in Morobe)

Pic courtesy: Post Courier Newspaper Jan 2015
The teachers leave fares issue has been ongoing matter mostly due to misappropriation by Division of Education heads in all provinces. Funds allocated purposely for leave fares were usually tampered with and diverted to cover up for shortfalls in other votes or items.

I am speaking from experience especially in Morobe where the highest allocation is given. Yet this is forever an issue year in year out. As the person formally in charge of teachers leave fares in Morobe, I can attest that the fault entirely lies with the provincial authorities and financial delegates in form of provincial education advisers and provincial administrative officers.


Every year funds have always allocated with delivery mechanism designed and in place to have all teachers receive their entitlements, but this all seemed on paper only as half of the funds has always been diverted to cover up for excessive travels, hire cars, hotel bills and travel allowances especially by senior officers.

The Department of Education and Teaching Services Commission should also shoulder blame as this is an overdue issue that should have been resolved a long time ago. Policies and TSC Act Section 130 that manages the teachers leave fares is outdated and should be updated with proper delivery mechanism in place that allows paying of leave fare without obstacles. The current delivery mechanism is effective, but needs tighter stringent measures on this funds so there is no diversion and misuse by provincial authorities, means the Finance Management Act also comes into play so this also has to be updated with stringent control on its use.

Morobe Province being the largest with highest number of teachers is a classic example of how funds meant for teachers leave fare has always had funds diverted by the education adviser and his administrative officer. Every year problems faced by teachers in regards to this has always been ignored and repeated the next year without anything being done by higher authorities.

OBE Vs SBE | Education Policy Change, English-Only Language of Instruction in 3 Months

Many changes are taking place. For the last 22 years, the elementary years are when local languages were mandatory under the  Outcome Based Education (OBE) Policy. This will change beginning 2015.

Standard Based Education (SBE) is now set for the new academic year. This means that English will be the only form of communication starting at elementary school.

There is no clear indication of any structural reform and what could be done to balance the change. It appears, for now, that PNG expects this policy change in such a very short time without any adjustment to embrace the change. Does it mean SBE will be absorbed into OBE structure? Government, education planners and NDoE assume it will work, but how effective can it be? The last thing Papua New Guinea wants is another failed education policy.

One change that stood out was English to replace Tokples at elementary level. This is a welcoming change. But, has it been properly thought through? Here is my response to a discussion on PNG Teachers' Facebook group.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW DISCUSSION
PNG education planners, policy implementers, NDoE officials, teachers and government must not mix structural reform with curriculum changes. 

Teaching English from Elementary Schools up is policy change. This is one change at the crucial stage of learning - the elementary school. It must be done properly. This, I infer, is the subject of this post. Now, to Rebecca's point: to be able to speak, read and write properly - English syllabus  at elementary (the early years) MUST be directed to improving students ability to speak English, Read in English and write in English. 

Emphasis must be placed accordingly starting with speaking the language as this is the best way to learn it. This can be effectively done by reinforcing use of phonics and sound. For example instead of learning to say A, B, C, D......X, Y, Z elementary teachers can start by introducing tthe consonant and vowel sounds: Aaaa, Baaa, Caaa, Daaa, Eeee, .....Xaaa, Yaaa, Zaaa. These sounds MUST be drilled into young kids. This must be followed by irregular/compound sounds like ay, ow, th, st, mo, kn.... and vowel sounds, aaaa, eee, iiii, oooo, uuu ....

So you see, if the policy has to change - regardless of whether the structure changes or not -  it must be both PRACTICAL and REALISTIC! You cannot just say 'okay we'll start teaching English . It is SBE. That is ridiculous. The change-makers must point out how to do it right the first time. 

Every stakeholder has to have a complete understanding of HOW English as a language can be taught from elementary to secondary schools without compromising on basics ideas that matter in early learning. Don't tell me curriculum is already there. What's there is as good as the results we saw. 

The challenge: if PNG education planners, implementers and govt make change it has to be done at the right stage with the right approach. So, what is the approach, any ideas?

Not much can be done to change the syllabi at at primary and secondary schools. English has been the mode of communication. What needed fundamental changes is the structure of elementary schools syllabus.

If it has to change from local languages (TOKPLES) to English, clear pathway has to be set to ensure every elementary school child is fully prepared to speak, read and write in English.