THE Government should focus on training specialised teachers in science and mathematics for primary schools if we are to transform our education system.
The change is necessary considering the failing education standard at all levels of our education system.
This will save millions spent on hiring expatriates to teach mathematics and science in our secondary schools.
With the lack of scientific and mathematical knowledge, teachers lack the confidence and competence required to instil passion for these subjects in their students.
As a former teachers college lecturer in maths and science, I had identified that many students were entering colleges with little or no scientific/mathematical subject knowledge.
The time devoted to preparing a primary school teacher is limited because of the need to cover all aspects of the primary curriculum.
The trend remains to be the same, resulting in the lack of sufficient scientific and mathematical knowledge to teach effectively by graduating teachers.
The Government should introduce more specialist courses with specialist lecturers in all primary school teachers colleges.
PNG cannot continue to hire costly Indian teachers as it undermines the quality, dignity and integrity of our local teacher training institutions.
It is about changing approaches to maths and science education and engaging candidates who are experts in their field.
The country needs teachers who can bring real science and maths into the classroom.
If we are to improve our performance in maths and science, to ensure our students are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in a global job market, we must start from the basics (primary school).
Instil a passion for science and mathematics at the early stages of the learning process.
If a child is interested and finds enjoyment in maths and science in primary school, they are more likely to not just continue studying these subjects, but to achieve high results in secondary school and move on.
Without a robust and inspiring maths and science education system we see low rates of engagement, poor academic results and reluctance to continue these subjects in later years.
It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.
This important change will leave a legacy of new courses, resources and productive alliances.
But most importantly, a cohort of better equipped, more confident and competent primary and secondary teachers of maths and sciences in the years to come.
Education Adviser – Peoples Republic of Rou’Areke