The National, Tuesday 08th November 2011
WHEN PNG gained Independence in 1975, it inherited the political, economic, administrative and education systems from the Australians.
PNG then embarked on a series of policies which, among others, aimed to overcome two of the legacies of the colonial experiences – the high degree of centralisation of political and administrative power and the great geographical inequality of wealth and distribution of government services within the country.
Within the spectrum of these policies, empowerment of human resources through education was a great concern for the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments through their bilateral relationship and policy implementation after Independence.
However, our education standard has dropped because of a lack of vision and initiative by the education department and successive governments.
While successive governments came up with many policies and systems, they were not consistent.
Even today, our education system is churning out too many school leavers and they end up on the streets doing nothing.
Nothing much has been achieved in terms of our education system compared to other nations.
Many things need to be done to improve our education standard, so that our graduates and school leavers are fit for the global job markets.
Some provincial governments, like Enga, should be given credit for initiating their own educational policies at the provincial level to develop its human resource.
However, much work still needs to be done to ensure our education system is competitive locally and internationally.
We need to be thinking outside the box to enhance and elevate our education standard through consistent assessments and evaluation, collaborative consultation with appropriate stakeholders for advice and support, and of course, policies should be user-friendly.
Our government is the main driving force because it is the financier.
The government should look at basic services like building of teachers’ houses, classrooms, buying computers and textbooks, increasing staff capacity, increasing teachers pay, providing relevant and adequate teaching resources/aids, and support teachers in furthering their education so that they are acquainted with current teaching theories, knowledge and practices.
Also, our outcomes-based education should be reviewed or ceased so that a proper education system is introduced where it is relevant and workable for Papua New Guinea.
Education is important and the government has a pivotal role to play in making sure our education system is relevant, competitive and produces standard in terms of quality and quantity.
In doing so, our future population will be educated and prepared for living in the future.
Ronny Knox Angu