New curriculum could affect our teachers


THE Education Department has embarked on improving the standard of education by introducing the standards-based curriculum (SBC) in 2015. When SBC was introduced, the structure, focus, aim and the name of the national curriculum changed from elementary to secondary education levels. The obvious change which has been seen so far was curriculum development and implementation in Papua New Guinea’s national education system. The new standards-based education (SBC) structure (1-6-6) proposed by the Government is yet to be implemented by the Education Department. Students are still being assessed with the outcome-based education (OBE) curriculum. The new SBE curriculum documents were written following the OBE structure (3-6-4). I see that when SBC is implemented, it is likely to cause a few issues. The structural and curriculum changes places a greater demand and challenge on the current elementary school teachers throughout the country.With the proposed structure focusing on early childhood education, teachers would be requried to be grounded with early childhood education background before they are allowed to teach. This means their qualifications would be in question due to the demand that would be created by the new structure. Elementary 1 and 2 classes would be abolished and it would be replaced by the one-year early childhood education. About two-thirds of the current elementary school teachers would be left out with no teaching positions. As a result, it would likely cause a greater teacher retention issue in the country.Another issue most likely to be created by the proposed education structure is curriculum. The SBC documents for teachers and students to use in schools were all written following the OBE structure. When the new structure is implemented, some of those curriculum documents would require re-aligning and re-arrangement.Specifically, curriculum documents for grades 1 and 2 under junior primary and grades 7 and 8 under junior secondary School. This is because the new structure will require primary school teachers to teacher grades 1 and 2 while grades 7 and 8 will be taught by secondary school teachers. However, at the moment, it is quite unclear whether the Government, through the Education Department, has any plans to retain the current elementary school teachers who are likely to be left without teaching positions. It is also unclear the Government will be making a few changes to SBC documents.

James Iki,