Morobe education opts for missionary teachers


THE Morobe education division will delay accepting contracted overseas teachers for secondary schools and is looking at options to partner with church agencies.
The division prefers Christian church agencies that have their overseas missions send lay missionaries to teach mathematics, science and English in high and secondary schools in the province, saying that overseas teachers would not fit in well in rural schools.
The Education Department through the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) has created two positions in all high and secondary schools for contracted overseas teachers, particularly from India, to teach mathematics and science, and Australia for English.
The programme is to start in schools this year.
Acting provincial programme adviser Keith Jiram said the province was looking at partnering the Catholic, Lutheran and Seventh-day Adventist churches so they could arrange for agency teachers to teach at agency schools and then later at State-run institutions.
He said the province would not get overseas teachers now because they may not fit well in rural PNG communities, with many places lacking basic services and big challenges in law and order. “We have to be mindful of the current economic situation,” he said.
“Engaging a single contracted teacher can cost half a million.
“Two positions in a Morobe school is K1 million, 10 schools will be K10 million.
“That is a lot of money. It is good to delay a bit until our economy is healthy.
“It will be okay in city schools, but not in rural schools where the majority of the students are.”
Jiram said health issues and law and order problems were aspects that expatriate officers would not fit well into.
“These factors must be considered.
“The unemployment rate will be increasing with more brain-drain of PNG’s own qualified expertise graduates from local higher institutions,” he said.
“We are basically helping them (overseas countries) to rebuild their unemployment rate while ours is escalating.
“Give same contract conditions to nationals graduating from our own universities.
“Give those positions to locals who will fit better into rural high schools, our environment and culture.”