DIGITAL ECONOMY

Weekender

Modernisation of PNG economy

By MICHAEL UGLO
THE first article in this series which was published two weeks ago looked at the concept of digital technology and linked its application in a digitised economy. This second article is based on the above topic and it comes in two parts.
In part A we will look at our current practice involving digital technology. In part B next week we will look at the benefits and advantages in detail.

Natural resources and techology
Our natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, are harvested at an alarming rate without concrete improvement in the lives of the masses.
In the world of computing we can breathe a sigh of relief when we link the use of resources with the digital technology. In every stage of the decision-making process there will be a mapping done linking to any decision taken.
The mapping in fact gives details of cause and effect in numbers. When dealing with numbers it has to be remembered that they largely truth because numbers do not lie. When we do not use numbers in our decision-making it is prone to so much deficiency and vagueness in the outcome of decisions made.
The above fact is the truth in our current case because all our decisions are kept or nicely written out in MOAs and MOUs and other official documentations without the use of a mathematical method to derive those documents.
Thus, when it comes to major decision-making when we try to attach economic values to natural resources, it is normally the developer, the head of government but very limited landowner representation at the round table discussion which does not look promising. We do not take stock of the entire package that we are supposed to fully participate and derive benefits from. Hence it can be seen that we are operating in a troubleshooting environment to guess for our rightful dues.
Digital technology is right there to structure all our initial decision-making taking into consideration we have these resources both by how much (quantity) and at what grade (quality). A computer will then determine the prices according to the supply and demand chain both nationally and internationally in real time, batch and interactive systems.
In a day or in seconds you get a world standard pricing for the use of the particular natural resource you are selling locally or exporting. The computer programme would allocate data modules to perform specific tasks such as fetching a price and processing it to do a parallel processing or calculating what should be rightfully accorded to any stakeholder as determined by the domains and codomains of a function and procedure.

A computer will determine the price of products such as cocoa in real time. -Google pic

In the above method of practice stakeholder including the landowners, the masses, the government and the developer or any one or more of these groups will be left to be guessing their rightful reward for a particular natural resource or commodity that is sellable.

Population and technology
The biggest challenge is to have a very good educated population, well-mannered and of high moral standing that understands, respects, protects and is reliable to take charge of any activity whether it be development or just civil matters to create the peace and harmony that anyone wants to live in.
Such an environment alluded to above is the recipe that will help develop this nation. Technology is the device to use. Through the communication protocol of an internet message sent or uploaded on your phone so is the interfacing protocol that will form the communication database for creating this peaceful environment anybody around the world would embrace to live in.
Database programming will specify the variables to be included in a cell. The cell numbering in a procedure call will feed the information required of a particular task and the instruction for execution. Thus when a particular cohort of population is identified for a particular category in economic terms, the computer database structured for that cohort is very specific that it again is reduced to a linear mathematical solution.
Most of the time it is boring in the human mind to calculate every detail of a character of the population of PNG and devise corrective mechanisms. Digital technology will do this perfectly in no more than a second.
The above is very important for the progress of this nation because everyone will be closely monitored by the technology like a satellite and everyone above universal suffrage age will contribute to the nation’s coffers. At the moment most people are unaccounted for in terms of who is doing what. In fact large numbers of people may not be contributing when generally looking around us.

Technology and assets
Technology is an asset adding on to the assets that this nation has by way of ownership of properties and assets which include licences, certificates, intellectual property rights, copyright, patents, government securities in equities, stocks and bonds, real estate, state utilities, shares and consumption levels.
Use of technology can have a profound effect in terms of the benefits it brings to the nation in economic returns or remittances. Opportunities such as e-commerce and online trading are the options available so digitising our economy will bring forth so much benefits. For instance, you can use a common computer application engineered for a particular economic activity directly relevant to the economic activity you are engaged in.
Our current practice is such that our assets are underutilised. When we don’t have a computer database with the necessary software devised for an economic activity, our inability and deficient mental reasoning to work beyond our limited boundaries will continue to stagnate and derail our progress.

Actions to be taken
One may argue that computers are programmed by man and still will result in the same situation we are faced with. This response was what I got from a distant marker for Flexible and Open Distance Education (FODE).
I agreed with her, however, I mentioned and want to conclude this article by saying that a von Noumen machine, which is both the deterministic and non-deterministic automaton which we call computer, gives you garbage when you feed garbage. Likewise if you feed quality information, you will get quality results.
We seem to expect quality results from any kind of data we feed in and we do not get a good result.
In the current digital technology see for yourself that technology is revolutionising this world and PNG will have to be in it, the sooner the better.

  • Michael Uglo is a lecturer in Avionics and has studied Electronics and Physics of Electronics Devices and Calculus at UPNG. He is also working on digital cloud technology.

EDUCATION

Great start in early education

By CARRIE HESEHING
THIS time of year schools around the country are into their grade 10, 12 and 8 examinations. They will soon be expecting the results.
The common question would be how many did pass their examination and are eligible to continue onto the next phase of education, and how many have dropped out?
Well, it is time we understand where we are coming from and not point fingers for failure. As the new government is embarking on ‘Taking Back PNG’, it requires a joint effort from every citizen in this country.
‘Quality Education for All’ is one of the pillars for the country’s Vision 2050. Now, how do we help our government achieve this goal, for the good of this nation and its future generations?
The acting director for the National Office for Child and Family Service, Simon Yanis said: “If the Government wants to take back this country, it must start investing in the children, because they are the future of this country. Early childhood education is one area that government at all levels must support, and utilise every possible opportunity that can give a positive impact on the upbringing of every child in this country.”
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Buk bilong Pikinini are one such avenue the Government may utilise to see greater impact on the learning capacity building for each child. As a citizen I have seen this programme to be effective in my child’s learning, and I know it can to the same to other children throughout the country. They have a well-tailored teaching curriculum that is practical and effective to develop children and prepare them to venture into the next phase of their education.
I am not trying to be persuasive here; this is a based on my observation. I believe many parents out there whose children have been through this early childhood learning programme would agree with me.
BbP is always happy to work in partnerships to be able to deliver programmes and services. Founder and chair Anne-Sophie Hermann said: “We are very keen to work with provincial administrations to re-establish school libraries, provide our training and up-skilling of teachers and community educators and when more substantial funding is available, to establish our library learning centres,” she told Wantok Niuspepa.

Learning in a Buk bilong Pikinini library.

“We have developed a curriculum in early childhood development and education for PNG’s children which has proven to be very effective and is teaching five-year-olds to read. We have been working very closely with the Milne Bay provincial and district administrations for a number of years and hope to be able to replicate similar partnerships across the country.”
Hermann said BbP hoped to work in partnership with the local administrations as well as with the Department of Education and the Department of Community Development to be able to deliver the programmes across the country. It is vital for young children to gain access to a highly stimulating early childhood development program to foster healthy brain development and a solid foundation before starting school.
BbP believes that school children need support and materials for their education. To cater for that need, they have in place after-school literacy support programme where children can consult the more than 3,000 books in each library and also get assistance if they are having difficulty with literacy or numeracy.
“Apart from this, yes we are currently updating our comprehensive curriculum to increase activities and play in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) and problem solving. The children made a great start during Literacy Week and are now continuing the play based activities thanks to the great teaching aids in the new “Problem Solving Kits”.
“Daily activities such as construction, measuring, weighing, charting, counting, sorting, etc and problem solving tasks will be fully incorporated into our curriculum for 2020,” Hermann said.
“Science is important to incorporate as it reflects the world around us and because it impacts our daily life. We will be doing some simple experiments to learn in a fun way.
“Technology is one of the fastest growing fields and the children have to be literate in tech as well in order to ensure they can tackle all aspects of life.
“Engineering is part of our daily roads and bridges, etc. and challenges the mind in the application in difficult terrain such as is the case for PNG. The children built some amazing towers and bridges during Literacy Week out of sticks, paddle pops and recycled materials.
“Mathematics goes beyond numbers and is used by people every day. As we seek to prepare the children for school and the future all these fields have to work together as they build the foundation for our society. Problem solving is important as it allows the children to develop their creative and critical thinking skills,” she said.
Interested groups are most welcome to contact BbP either directly via email or through their Provincial Administration Education Office. Teachers who wish to work with BbP can apply through the normal channels. BbP trains its teachers in their internally developed curriculum both as part of the annual training and through in-library training.

  • Carrie Hesehing is a freelance writer.

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