Showing posts with label Secretary for Education PNG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Secretary for Education PNG. Show all posts

120 000 Grade 8, 59 000 Grade 10 and 23 200 Grade 12 students To Sit Examinations in 2015

More than 59,000 Grade 10 students in 256 schools will sit for their weeklong School Certificate Examination (SCE) from next week, an official says.

Secretary for Education Dr Uke Kombra said: “We have reduced the national examined subjects from 12 to seven as of this year.

“The other subjects will still be assessed and results will be based on the internal assessment.”

He said the subjects examined are English, mathematics, social science, science, personal development and two optional subjects.

The examinations will be conducted from Oct 12 to 16.

Kombra said preparations for Grade 8, Grade 10 and Grade 12 examinations were well underway.

Grade 10 SEC papers are currently being dispatched to the provinces.

“All provincial education advisers and examination supervisors are urged to ensure that the examination papers are well secured before they are dispatched to the respective schools.

A total of 23,200 Grade 12 students from 146 secondary schools will be sitting for their Higher School Certificate Examinations (HSCE) from Oct 19-30.

“About 120,000 Grade 8 students from 2,663 schools will sit for the Certificate of Basic Education Examinations (COBE) from Nov 2-5.”

Kombra appealed to everyone to support fair conduct of exams and to report any malpractice to school administrations, provincial and national authorities or Police for appropriate action.

“There are strategies already in place to minimise and avoid cheating in schools.


Source: The National, Tuesday October 6th, 2015 || By SHEILA MALKEN

Growth, A Challenge Turned - Papua New Guinea National Education Plan

To make progress in a changing world, the education system has to evolve and adapt to social, demographic, technological and other modern changes. Reforming the education system was one way to adapt to these changes.

Papua New Guinea National Education Plan

Papua New Guinea National Education Plan 2005 to 2014 was an important document. It encompassed the development phases of elementary, primary, secondary and technical education in detail. It was a 10-year working plan, thoroughly outlined to guide every stakeholder involved in giving and receiving educational services.


Education department of papua new guinea

The aims and time-frame for achieving each outcome was clearly indicated in a 148-page documentChallenges identified by the working committee have remained the same to this day. 

Why were those challenges not addressed according to the timeline? What made it so difficult? 

Growth, Quality, Financing, Maintainable and Management.


There were (are) 5 main challenges: Growth, Quality, Financing, Maintainable and Management.

Lets start with the first challenge. 

The NEP 2005 - 2014 working committee realised that retention of students population between elementary and secondary schools was challenging. This was recorded in the Situation Analysis report:

….improving retention through the years of basic education; improving the delivery of education services in rural and remote areas; strengthening the vocational education and training sector to support appropriate courses to make better use of partnerships with the private sector and community agencies, and securing adequate government budget support for the reform to manage the enrollment growth. [NEP 2005 – 2014, Situation Analysis pp 21 – 37]. 

PNG Education reform and retention problems


By 2005, the Reform would have been implemented for 12 years. There were two retention problems - students pulling out (those leaving the school at their own will between elementary and secondary school) and students dropping out (those leaving after examination at Grades 8, 10 and 12). Controlling the earlier problem was documented. 

But, the latter was not. The WB and working knew maintaining school attendance was going to be tough. What they didn't foresee was the increase in the number of students who would have actually left at the end of Grades 10 and 12.

Any responsible government would have seen the need to prepare universities and colleges to accommodate students at the end of their examination years. That was where successive PNG governments have failed, and continue to fail their young citizens. 

When is retention likely to improve? Perhaps Papua New Guineans who are supposed to advise successive governments on policy matters failed the people. Maybe the WB could have looked at things differently at the beginning of Education Reform.

National education system cannot sustain a growing population


The fact of the matter is that two decades later, the national education system cannot sustain a growing population. 

The Education Reform created a bottled neck effect. Though insignificant during the early Reform days, this effect has had a big generational impact 22 years later. 

The strain on the system is shocking when only 1 in 5 Grade 12 students makes it to a tertiary institution. 

It is reasonable to maintain a good flow of students from one stage to another. What happens to 80% of young men and women? Why didn't any development take place at the tertiary level?  Apparently, a World Bank [WB] condition restrained any growth at tertiary institutions. This was clearly indicated in a press release from Australian National University

In part, it reads “… The World Bank, for example, in the mid-1990s, was prepared to support only development projects that targeted universal basic education and would not entertain forms of assistance at the tertiary level of education.”

PNG government was bowing to WB. 

Instead of developing the whole system, it created lots of elementary, primary and secondary schools all over the country, without any expansion at the higher level to absorb the output. 

In fact, any chance of growth in higher education was stalled as a direct result of the WB condition given as shown in the ANU report.

After 2 decades of the Reform and the result is there for all to see. There are only 4500 spaces at tertiary institutions today. Of the 21430 Grade 12 students, over 16000 will be ejected from formal tertiary education. This is real, it is frightening. 

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I would like to make it clear that this article does not intend to throw the egg on the government, or WB or education officials. It simply questions why government ignore a challenge identified in the National Education Plan 2005 to 2014.
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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.

A Good Call, Education Secretary - What Else Is Different That The Education Dept Wants From Civil Society?

Report from The Post Courier (Tapo urges public to have input in new Act, October 24,2014, 01:58 am)


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''The Secretary said areas the civil society can make comments on may include: boards of management, boards of governors and governing council, free and compulsory education, quality of education, boards of studies for elementary, primary and secondary. Furthermore, comments can be made on curriculum, language of instruction, structure of public service and administration at Provincial and District levels

The secretary said the powers and authority of Provincial Education Advisers, District Education Advisers, District Administrators and accountability must be clearly articulated can also be commented on. Views can also be made on the teacher and technical education and the 2-6-6 school system structure for elementary, primary and high Schools’

Tapo said the remaining consultations will be held with the permitted schools, international education agency and the Churches in November.

Meanwhile, the Secretary said the final consultation will be held for the appropriate Government Departments also in the month of November or December. Tapo has urged the public and those provinces consulted already to submit their views or queries to this email address: Act_Review@education.gov.pg.''


Lae School Fights III: Fighting Bad Habits Vs Fighting Bad Students

This is part III of Fight Against School Fights series. 

The article is about identifying and dealing with students’ bad behaviour in schools. Many school administrators do fear students’ reprisal when dealing with students. 


Fear lingers mainly because admins and school boards tend to fight students instead of their behaviours. Students' way of doing things against guided principles - negative students culture -  when not monitored and corrected can lead to other chronic bad behaviours. The key word is chronic as such is contagious and spreads among students. 

But, how does a one-off bad act becomes chronic? I will discuss how to correct one bad act and contain it before it established tentacles among students. 


Below are five ambiguous areas where school administrators can exploit to contain bad students’ habits effectively.

Adapted: EMTV 

I am going to use the words act, habit and character. To make readers understand them, I am putting them into context below.


Plant a thought, reap an act

Plant the act, reap a habit

Plant the habit, reap a character

The character determines a destination




1.      Discipline Vs Behaviour

Discipline is about moulding students’ behaviour. It is not the end, it is always the beginning of a process. Every student who enters a classroom whether they are from the street, village, middle class or upper class has to be seen equal by teachers and school admin.

Educators often identify students’ abilities by academic capabilities (bright and not-so-bright), leadership roles and behaviour. What is important here is the fact that regardless of the student, school has a responsibility to develop every student to live a happy and fulfilling life – many call it the integral development.

Schools are there as institutions for moulding and shaping minds and hearts of young people,  hence systemic discipline is a vital element.

2.      Home Discipline Vs School Discipline

Many have a preconceived idea that discipline starts at home. A line must be drawn between discipline at home and at school. Discipline always starts at home. This is true for those who have decent family upbringing where parents are there to drill into their children good habits.

Starting to learn about the world at home is always effective (for sure) and that is where discipline starts by default. But, this can be a ‘dead argument’ for students who do not have a place call home. What about student living with 'wantoks, or students from broken and violent homes? And what about students who have good homes, but are influenced by peers on the streets?

As long as students are in the school, school takes responsibility on all matters pertaining to shaping good habits. School as learning institution must instil good attitude in young men and women. School has the ultimate duty to ensure this happens.

Classroom is WHERE a parentless child sits with the privileged. School is where a violent dad does not exist for the day. School and classroom are neutral grounds where character-shaping can take place unobstructed.


3.      Protecting Students

Welfare of every student and teacher within school precinct take precedence. More often many school administrators concentrate on fixing fault instead of proactively building barrier to prevent it.

By this I mean school admin and BoG often overlook a few ‘rotten apples’ in school. That does not means those students are rotten. It is their way of acting contrary to school’s norm and ethos that is rotten.

In order to protect the integrity of school and majority of students who are good, those behaviours have to be clearly IDENTIFIED, MARKED and DEALT with.

4.      Targeting Behaviour Vs Targeting students

I mentioned the difference briefly above. Most school administrators and BoG often target students instead of their behaviour. This is where the problem is!

Bad habits, actions and behaviours are always common year on year in every school. This can be an effective way to discover students because you never tell from students names. Having an idea about bad habits, bad actions and bad behaviours can help to solve students’ behavioural issues forehand.

The point here is to fight the actions and behaviours that are bad, instead of fighting with students. If it means revising school disciplinary policy, by all means, do it!

5.      Discipline Within Classroom Vs Discipline Within School

This is a major challenge for Lae city schools. This is where classroom/subject teachers, class patrons, deputy principals and principals are pivotal in application of discipline.

In behaviour management, there has to be clear communication all throughout the process. Communication with student and parents is the key; starting with verbal warning, referral to deputy principal, punishment, warning letter to parents, facing BoG, etc. Expulsion/termination should ever be considered as the last resort.

Discipline is always the start, not the end. Applying discipline is about reinforcing good habits, getting students into a good school culture and ensuring prudent behaviour exits the first time, every time.

END: Following a clearly outlined disciplinary process is the best way to control and contain bad habit before it takes stronghold in students.

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In my next post I will undertake to concentrate on principals and deputy principals as the pillars of discipline and what they should do to foster good school culture ....

School Fights: Secretary For Education Concern and the Action He Never Took

Dr. Michael F Tapo’s skilfully identified two important powers within school that remain inactive when discussing school fights in Papua New Guinea Schools, including Lae Schools: the School Admin and School Board.

He correctly stated that:

“School administrations must establish a good working relationship with different authorities in the province and communities to minimize the disciplinary problems going on in schools especially school fights,” [Press Release]


They have to remain open-minded. That means every provincial education authority has to work together as a unit from school principals and board to provincial education adviser (PEA) and provincial education board (PEB).

The secretary for education has to do something if he is genuine about the concern he raised. He is not an ordinary citizen, nor is he a classroom teacher. He is the secretary! He has got to either have a plan or consult with affected schools on the best way to address schools fights.

The secretary’s ineptitude would be obvious if he had not done anything. 

This is a huge fight and it has to be fought strategically - a challenge that needs practical solution. To be successful, careful planning is needed before any action.

If he is truly concerned about school fights, he has got to have a plan of action to help school admin and board of governors; he must make his concern heard. It would be incompetent to have released a press statement without strategic plan.