Principal: Focus on early learning

Education

THE Morobe government must focus on early childhood education because it is the foundation for learning, a school principal says.
Morobe Christian College principal and founder Simon Benguma said the country’s education system failed a lot of students over the years.
He said the Government was only concentrating on elementary, primary and secondary learning.
Benguma, who heads the only college that implements the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum in Lae, said “when a child is born, he/she begins to acquire information from the environment and surroundings”.
“Information is passed on from one generation to the next,” he said.
“People communicate mostly through writing and will acquire information mostly from reading.
“Once you help children to read, write and pronounce properly, then you will have an outstanding generation.”
Benguma said back in the ’60s, the Government did not develop a good programme and elementary education was in the vernacular language, which was a set for most students who did not make it past level six.
He said the way to develop a child was through phonics and reading.
Benguma said in early childhood education, children did a lot of reading and listening which helps them understand and comprehend things quickly.
“The reason a lot grade 10 and 12 students drop out of schools today is because of poor reading and comprehension,” he said.
“Most schools do not teach grammar.
“English has a rule. We must instil this rule in children before they are introduced into the education system.”
The college, which has aligned its curriculum with flexible open distance education (FODE), helps a lot of grade 8, 10 and 12 drop-outs.
Benguma said his experience and knowledge in helping such students made him realise that the education system needed to be improved.
“There are three types of students: the fast learner, the average learner and the slow learner,” he said.
“The government does not cater for the latter.
“The education system must give a second chance for such students by building more colleges in the province and provide technical vocational education and training depending on the interest of the students.”

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