The National, Wednesday 19th September 2012
I COMMEND the government for abolishing the outcome-based education (OBE).
It was seen as the main hindrance in achieving quality education, especially at a child’s fundamental learning stages.
The system was very hard to master and comprehend from a teacher’s perspective, especially in lesson programming, planning and pre-sentation.
College lecturers had difficulties delivering OBE formats because the Education Department failed to train them.
Only primary school teachers were handpicked or randomly selected to attend week-long in-services programmes.
These are some of the irregularities of the OBE system, where millions of kina were spent.
The government should immediately abolish the elementary system and allow elementary schools to be incorporated back into primary schools.
How can we allow Grades 6, 10 and 12 leavers to teach without having first going through formal preparatory training?
If our focus is on quality education, it is only right to ensure quality in terms of qualifications, experiences and learning materials, among other things.
Like everybody else, elementary school teachers need to first qualify for a teaching profession.
Believe me, many elementary teachers in remote areas are unqualified and incompetent.
They have poor command of Enlgish and are also weak in lesson preparation and presentations.
And why should a child be taught using a local vernacular when city schools are using English?
At the secondary level, recruit specialist teachers, especially those who have degrees or a post-graduate diploma in education from the University of Goroka.
The education minister had proposed to bring in expatriate teachers, but from past experience, our local teachers are more qualified.
Furthermore, expatriate salaries are three to four times more than that of local teachers doing the same job.
Other issues also need to be reviewed, such as teachers’ living conditions, equipment, teaching materials and discipline.
Most importantly, headmasters and school boards need to be transparent and must have the heart for the school, community, province and the country by managing funds appropriately.
Over to you, minister.