WHILE many schools around the country are undergoing the much-talked-about Standard-Based Curriculum training, I wish to share some issues that complicated the effective delivery of training for the forgone Outcome-Based Curriculum and its implementation in the early 2000s.
I am one of the teachers who left teaching because of the difficulties encountered with the OBE lesson programming and planning.
It lacked clear standard learning objectives that would have guided me to deliver a lesson with clear instructional objectives, a learning objective that specifies a specific learning goal for what students should know and achieve at the end of each lesson.
During the OBE curriculum implementation training, the Education department engaged a lot of staff from the Teacher Education division and from the PNG In-service College (now PNG Education Institute).
However, in the manner they delivered the OBE curriculum around the country, they were incompetent and unqualified to deliver effective OBE curriculum training awareness across the country.
They hardly explained the basics of preparing and delivering lessons in the classroom as they lacked the background knowledge on the OBE system and the required knowledge and skills to effectively deliver it.
I was teaching in one of the primary school teachers’ colleges when two staff members from the PNG In-service college were invited to explain the OBE methods of teaching, only to find the training sessions being dominated by tones of handouts with a lot of unrealistic discussions lacking merits, deliberately done to consume time and to deviate away from sensitive questions raised by training participants.
Honestly, many lecturers found it hard to relate the OBE style of lesson programming and teaching in the lecture rooms, resulting in many students graduating without the OBE knowledge.
If this was the scenario at the college level, comprising highly educated academic staff, it must have been worse for primary and elementary teachers.
It was more like the blind leading the blind from the top down, resulting in ripple impacts on the country’s quality of education.
With the current standard-based curriculum (SBC), many teachers who had taught in the ’80s and early 2000s will not have a problem mastering the basic skills and concepts to plan lessons using the SBC approach.
For the new kids on the block, the mastery of the skills and concepts needed to effectively plan and programme their lesson using the SBC approach will very much depend on the quality of the SBC trainers.
This would mean that the SBC trainers should have the wealth of expertise, the skills and knowledge to ensure the trainers competently impart the right quality of knowledge and skills required to deliver or else SBC will become another issue of concern in later years.
The implementation of a standard-based curriculum requires schools to work ahead of time to create mapping, commonly called a curriculum map, scope and sequence, or pacing guide.
Looking forward, we must rely on the past weaknesses to ensure the same is not repeated.