Reforms must meet our needs

Letters, Normal

THE present so-called education reforms in the form of outcome-based education (OBE) have not met the country’s expectations since its introduction.
In the past two years, despite an uproar by the PNG public, the Government is not really doing anything about it.
Despite widespread criticisms against OBE and that it has failed in some developed countries like the US and Australia, the-powers-that-be in Waigani are behaving like ostriches with their heads still firmly buried in the sand. 
The Government and the Education Department, in particular, are ignoring this for fear of losing free AusAID-funded projects all over the country. 
The Education secretary is still championing the strategy despite criticisms by some credible PNG educationists that OBE is a failed system being forced upon the people of PNG by Australia.
There is a strong public perception that this is yet another Australian foreign policy strategy to deliberately make PNG and its people struggle to catch up with the rest of the world as far as educational development is concerned. 
This perception is further made stronger by the fact that AusAID is pouring in millions of kina every year to keep a flawed educational reform system going.
The overall national results have been slipping for some time now and they not only discouraging but also detrimental to PNG’s long-term human capital growth.
What we really need is a simple basic plan that is not too resource-intensive where the educational product can be easily delivered and desired outcomes achieved in the most cost-effective and efficient way.
To prepare for future challenges, PNG requires a sound workable education system that can churn out students who are well-trained and are ready to meet the challenges in the labour market. 
But before that can happen, our young people must be given quality education and training to a satisfactory level where they can be critical and independent thinkers and can be gainfully engaged in both formal and informal sectors.– Reginald Renagi Port Moresby