By PISAI GUMAR
THE first batch of elementary school teachers in Lae, Morobe have sat their final examinations in matriculation studies through the Flexible Open Distance Education (Fode) mode.
The 69 teachers studied through Fode at the Lae Community College (LCC) for two years to as directed by the PNG Education Institute (PNGEI).
The PNGEI decided earlier this year to phase out grade 10 leavers teaching in elementary schools.
From 2019 and onwards, only grade 12 leavers will be recruited to teach in elementary schools.
LCC director Nicky Raka said that education department’s directive has placed a burden on many elementary school teachers in rural areas and school would likely be closed down because most teachers were grade 10 leavers.
“Elementary school teachers in Lae have the opportunity but most were self-sponsored to attain grade 12 certificates,” Raka said.
“However, most of them, despite their commitment in past years have yet to be recognised and listed in the payroll.”
Acting provincial elementary teacher training coordinator Velmah Woricke said earlier that Morobe would be likely to have 1500 teaching vacancies in elementary schools.
“While grade 12 leavers will be in Balob, there will be no teachers in classrooms to teach the children and this is really a serious problem to elementary trainers, teachers, parents and children,” Woricke said.
Senior elementary trainers Yoman Kumb and Nonzong Zialong expressed concern and have urged the PNGEI governing council to re-assess their directives.
Raka urged Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu and education adviser Keith Jiram to look into the issue.
By PISAI GUMAR