Elementary school system ‘big white elephant’

Main Stories, National

The National, Friday October 18th, 2013


A TEACHERS’ body has described the elementary school system as a ‘big white elephant without tusks’ coming out of Waigani with a negative influence.

Papua New Guinea Teachers’ Association Morobe branch president Mark Nanu said the Education Department and the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) had failed in their responsibility to support the elementary school system.

Nanu made these remarks following concerns from parents in the media about the level of elementary teacher qualification and knowledge.

Nanu, an Omili Primary School teacher, said in most cases, elementary school teachers were picked by their community leaders. After the initial basic training in the first five years, they are certified as elementary teachers.

“That community is responsible for that teacher but there is no backing from the TSC or government,” he said.

He said a good support system should be in place for elementary teachers to improve their qualification, teaching skills and knowledge to lift the academic level of students.

He said most students were having trouble speaking and writing English from third grade in primary schools.

A report from Voluntary Services Organisation in the Universal Basic Education showed that many elementary teachers could not read and write and failed to use the elementary syllabus and teacher’s guide.