Showing posts with label NEP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEP. Show all posts

Papua New Guinea Education System: A System Battered Since Tuition Free Policy, No Plan Of Action

The National Department of Education has seen many changes. Dr Joseph Pagalio, Dr Musawe Sinebare and Dr Michael Tapo were at the helm and saw the changes through. They can attest to the fact changes are not bad.

But it is ominous PNG’s education system is undergoing four changes since Tuition Free Fee policy was introduced without clear guidelines. This is a recipe for disaster. It is better to avoid repeating mistakes encountered when implementing Outcome Based Education (OBE). This is a generational change. It must be thought through properly.

Lack of planning was obvious before school started. First, Papua New Guinea did not have a 10 year education plan to date. National Education Plan 2005 – 2014 (NEP 2005 – 2014) lapsed last year. If there was a committee working on it, why was it not out?

A 10-year plan is crucial. It puts in perspective a working plan for all stakeholders to follow. It would be better if NEP 2015 – 2024 was made available to everyone sooner rather than later.

The second change is the change is structure, Two-Six-Six: two years of elementary school, six years of primary school and six years of secondary school. I highlighted differences between new and old structures in an earlier post.

The education system is expecting a structural readjustment – just how this will happen is as important as when it will happen. The education minister mentioned that structural change will take effect next year, 2016. However, it would be better if he stated how NDoE would roll it out nationwide.

The third change is the change is curriculum. Make no mistake, reverting to Standard Based Curriculum (from Outcome Based Curriculum) is change in educational curriculum. It is about changing educational instruction – the way works is done. So, what kind of instruction is changing? What unit (or topic, or objective, etc.) is changing? What makes it different to OBE? How can stakeholders, including teachers, compare and contrast OBE to SBE? It is better to give answers to those questions to clarify misunderstanding, is it not?

The final change that needs taking place is implementation of 12 recommendations made by Parliamentary Referral Committee on Education (PRCE) on teachers’ welfare.  Ganim report cannot be left to gather dust. The education minister has to table this report. Parliament must deliberate on it findings. There is never a better time to hear our teachers’ cries than now.

All in all, since the government’s Tuition Free Fee policy started, the education system has got its fair share of battering. It is time to put in motion a clear plan of action and reward our teachers properly.

Papua New Guinea National Education Plan - Has The Education System Failed, Is It Failing?

Department of Education Awareness on SBE (CLICK HERE)
Papua New Guineans and concerned friends who do not have the means to put their child/ren in overseas schools or private schools have to take these 4 points seriously: 

1) National Education Plan 2005 - 2014 has lapsed. A new NEP (the NEP 2015 - 2024) is NOT out this year. Why is the plan - road map for the next 10 years - not out in the public before the school year begins? 

2) Curriculum change (Outcomes Based Education to Standards Based Education) is a system-wide change which takes effect throughout every stage of schooling and it starts now, 2015. The Education Minister and National Department of Education secretary mentioned that this change would take effect regardless of early awareness and preparation. How the change will happen or what is actually changing in still not clear. 

3) Structural Change (2-6-6) – The curriculum change is closely followed by structural adjustment. Unlike curriculum change where it takes effect across the system, the two-six-six structural readjustment is gradual. This means that children starting school this year will be pioneer generation. Instead of spending 12 years in schools (i.e. Elementary Gr 1 -2 , primary Gr 3 - 8  and secondary Gr 9-12, every student starting  school in 2015 will spend 14 years (not 12 years) before reaching University. So, Papua New Guineas who send their kids to start school at age 6 or 7 now have to realise that these kids will be 20 or 21 when they do first year at university, not 18 or 19. So, what is the right age to start school now? Do we want our kids to be 20/21 before entering unis? 

4) Project Fee - schools are directed by the Minister and NDoE not to charge project fees or face disciplinary action. Why now and not 2012, 2013 and 2014? Tuition Free Policy was implemented since 2012. Do the parents get a refund backdated to 2012? Most of them had been paying project fees.

These 4 points show that the Education minister, his secretary, education officials and foreign education consultants are playing around with 'human resource' of PNG. The heads are so disorganised putting parents, principals and teachers placed in precarious situation beginning 2015 school year. There is no clear direction from the top. 

These are changes that will have a big impact in the next 10 years (NEP 2015-2024) and the next 14 years (structural change). The best thing the National Department of Education needs to do is to give CLEAR directive to head teachers about what is expected as far as the changes and NEP are concerned.

National Education Plan 2015 - 2019 Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world

As PNG looks forward to another 5-year National Education Plan, NEP 2015 – 2019, over 21000 grade 12 graduates are competing for one of the 4500 places at tertiary institutions nationwide.  Where will 80% of these young men and women go? What is their future? How do we arm them with the 'most powerful weapon' - EDUCATION after grade 12?

NEP 2005 – 2014 clearly outlined specific recommendations (and ways) to achieve its goals. The vision was clear. I will pinpoint certain areas where government and National Department of Education (NDoE) should have done right in articles (II) – (IV).

This article gives an introductory remark on way forward in next 10 years by looking at why Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

His words are relevant in PNG now.

This great man gave his speech during his first visit to the US after his release from 27 years imprisonment. In the early 1990 many students dropped out of school. That was why he stressed the importance of school and education. He wanted to get the message to every student - young man and woman who was present that time.

He also said “This [students dropping out from school] is a very disturbing situation, because the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” he told the students . He urged students to “try as much as possible to remain in school.”

The message was clear: he gave it at the right time to the right audience. Many students present took the message in.  Here is one example.

Papua New Guinea education planners need to get this message in, too. Education consultants, researchers, NDoE secretary and time wasters at the department must get their heads together.

This isn’t a time for planning as it may seem. It is time for planning and implementing a new (or adjusted) 10-year vision.

The words of Mandela rings through to this day when over 80% of Grade 12s do not have a place in higher educational institutions. It is time to create National Education Plan that encompasses not only the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), BUT also relevant to PNG.

Why not start by addressing high dropout rate? Look no further than do what needed done is the best way forward.



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