Showing posts with label Outcome Based Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outcome Based Education. Show all posts

The Most Important System: Future Of Our Nation Depends On Its Education System - PNG




Analysing the Education System From Within

David, it is worrying to see our education system - the system we've  gone though - has been battered over time. Your observation should be a concern for every parent. We know that education is our  future, our children are our future. The education system is the MOST important system in the country. 

Any change within the system must be backed by proper research and planning. Lack of it has resulted  in regression as evident today. 

Education leaders and politicians who are responsible for the education to the people have to start asking questions. 

They have to find answers to the questions: What can be done to improve the education system from here on? Will the change in structure and curriculum improve the education system? Will the planned phasing out of Gr 8 exams improve standard of examinations? Will the infrastructure developments bring better change? Have we seen an improvement in standard of education  through the government's Free Education policy?

I think there is no magic bullet. The deteriorating education standard we see today has resulted from years of unplanned and ill-advised policies. It is now time to ask ourselves 'what went wrong' and fix it.

Being Specific About What Needs to Be Changed - Positive Change

 We need to be specific when we talk about change. There are many changes going on at the mo. What 'good' change do we want to see? A good change (in my opinion) that is happening is the curriculum change OBE to SBE. Another good change also happening (but at a very slow pace) is government acting on Ganim's Report 12 recommendations. What else needs to be done to improve the system of education?

Proper Researches and Reviews Must be Happen prior to Changes in Education System

In April/May 2014 a parliamentary committee on education (PRCE) was investigating and reporting on teacher's appointment process, salary & remuneration (leave fares), functions of TSC and NDoE. The review was done at a time when teachers were having problems with leave fares. The government accepted the review and its 12 recommendations in January this year and allocated over K7.8 million to fund its implementation. Having followed development in education closely, I think this is the best thing the govt has done. But, I have yet to see the result on the ground though it has been nearly 10 months since the govt has accepted the review in principle. Here is the link to the stories I have been following http://goo.gl/YkkqzO

Ganim Report Is An Example of a Proper Review

The report recommends:

1. Review of functions and responsibilities of the DoE and Teaching Services Commission (TSC) in the Management of teachers’ salaries and entitlements.

2. TSC to review Teaching Services Act 1988 Section 9.

3. Review of relevant sections of the Teaching Service and Education Acts on appointment policies and procedures with the view to transfer off powers and functions to the Provincial Education Board.

4. Extension of tenure appointment from current three years to five years.

5. Review of ALESCO pay system enabling it to accommodate processing of all salaries and entitlements.

6. Transfer of full ALESCO Pay System and powers to the Provincial Education Board.

7. Payment of teachers’ leave fares direct into their accounts.

8. Annual teacher manpower update to be conducted in the first quarter of the school year.

9. TCS to assume financial autonomy as a separate entity of State as per the Teaching Services Act 1988.

10. Review of policy, process and procedures in the administration of retrenchment, retirement and resignation of teachers.

11. Review of a centralized modern electronic teacher information database that is easily available for provincial education authorities and other relevant stakeholders to have access.

12. Review of the TCS administrative and manpower structural requirements and resourcing the Commission, enabling it greater autonomy to effectively and efficiently administer and regulate powers and functions.

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.