By MICHELLE AMBA
SIMBU Teachers College is taking a leading role in rolling out the standard-based curriculum (SBC) for the primary sector, in the Highlands region.
A week-long trainer of trainers course was facilitated by Simbu Teachers College at Mt Wihlem Hotel in Kundiwa from June 24 to 29. The provincial TOT training was attended by district education officers, inspectors, head teachers of primary schools and senior teachers.
A total of 30 participants attended the TOT training and a further 20 joined the group for the cluster training.
Following on from the TOT training supervisors will be going out into the districts for the cluster training.
Lecturers from the college after passing the master training have returned to conduct the provincial TOT training and then the cluster training.
Simbu Teachers College principal, John Teklau Kaupa in his opening address, pointed out the importance of SBC.
“This is a very important initiative and Simbu Teachers College, although a new school, is committed in seeing the rollout of this policy. We must ensure standards are maintained with the standard-based education,” Kaupa said.
He said the college was committed in ensuring that teachers got the necessary training required before extending that training to districts and local level governments (LLGs). All teachers colleges have been delegated to run TOT training and assist in cluster training but Chimbu wants to take it head on and do this with commitment.
Standard-based curriculum or SBC is to replace the outcome-based education (OBE) system currently used in schools. OBE is to phase out in 2020 and replaced by SBC.
The curriculum for SBC for primary education has been written and printed and will be distributed to provinces.
The Educational Department has delegated the task to teachers colleges in respective provinces to train teachers on the new system that is expected to be implemented in 2020. For those provinces that do not have a teachers college, the department has identified colleges to provide trainings. Officials from the Education Department told teachers and trainers in Chimbu that these trainings were crucial and every teacher in primary schools must attend them.
The SBC for elementary level is now being implemented in schools. A curriculum for the junior primary sector has already been written and printed and will be distributed to provinces by the Curriculum Development Division of the Department of Education. The department has scheduled June 25 to 29 and July 2 to 6 for these trainings. These dates are the Term 2 break and National In-service Weeks.
The Department of Education has made funding available to all primary teachers colleges to lead the provinces in the TOT trainings.
The department says it is important that all teachers attend trainings.
Simbu Teachers College is one of the institutions that received K2.5 million for teacher training. The department says the success of SBC in Simbu depends much on the college and the Simbu Provincial Government.
Governor, Michael Dua when opening the trainingm made a commitment to support the department and the college in the rollout phase.
“As governor of Simbu I do not want to see the rollout done in isolation; I want teachers to work closely with the provincial government. Please feel free to knock on my door whenever there is a need. I always stand ready to assist,” the governor said.
“The output of this policy must be measured in terms of its quality and therefore I want Simbu to produce quality.”
Dua said as an educationist and a person with vast experience in this field he understood the amount of work and pressure involved.
“We Politicians are good at passing bills but we do not understand the amount of work involved. I know the department has been under tremendous pressure, especially those writing the new curriculum and those actually training teachers,” said the governor.
- Michelle Amba is a freelance journalist.