Failure of policy changes affecting schools

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday December 1st, 2015

 THE failure in achieving quality outcomes for policy changes in the education sector remains a significant setback for Papua New Guinea.

For instance, the change from the Standard Base Curriculum (SBC) to the Outreach Based Education (OBE) in the 1990s is a fine example of such failures. 

The OBE was a failed system in other countries and appeared to be the same in PNG. 

In fact, the introduction of OBE obstructed the quality of education delivered through SBC in the formative years during the change. 

PNG has witnessed these failures despite the millions of kina injected by the government and donor agencies into the education sector.

This was followed by the introduction of top-up primary schools to accommodate grades 7 and 8. 

However, continuous poor academic results displayed in the yearly exams in science, mathematics and English concluded that the system was failing to deliver. 

With much debate in recent times, the Education Department also proposes to introduce grades 7 and 8 back into the high schools system.

The reality is that many schools lacked qualified teachers, insufficient learning and teaching materials, in-sufficient school infrastructure, lack of staff development programmes and science laboratories, among others.

Before the department can talk about educational policy changes, the secretary and the minster must be 150% sure that these will not have any negative impact but attain positive outcomes. 

Otherwise, I can only conclude that the current government is bulldozing through various significant policies changes to draw political support in preparation for the 2017 general elections without considering the future of our children.


Ken Nandawa, Via email