This post is intended to provide you with perspectives or insights on the current program (technology) used by the DHERST on the selection of Grade 12s into colleges and universities in the country. This view is my own opinion in the lead up to the adoption of the new selection method.
My observation is twofold:
Firstly, the online selection is assumed to benefit the GoPNG and it's people in three ways:
1. Merit-based selection. This selection will offset the supposedly biased selection facilitated through manually.
2. Saves time and resources. The manually based selection is considered to use up plenty of time, with many people involved in the selection, and therefore consumes plenty of money and resources.
3. Qualified and merituos students are likely to enter the colleges and universities without compromising the selection requirements. And many other benefits.
My second observation is the downside (negative) of the online selection. The method/approach/program/technology or whatever the online selection is didn't consider the following fundamental points:
I) NO Consultation: In any government policy system, the first process of "agenda setting" is a compulsory consultative process of a government policy or program stage before any policy is introduced into the system. In this case, the DHERST or the minister or NEC didn't gauge any public views before introducing the policy including consultations with the universities and colleges.
II) Incompatibility: it is likely the software or introduced system might not appropriately detect "selection differentiation". For example, students who sat Advanced (major) Mathematics and General (minor) Mathematics will not carry the same GPA. If for instance, a particular student applied to do Economics at UPNG but this student has taken minor maths and scored an "A" in his/her final grade 12 examination with a final GPA of 3.2, a cut-off GPA required for admission into Economics, is not a suitably qualified candidate by the Division because the Economics Division at UPNG STRICTLY accepts students who has done Maths A but not Maths B. The scenario here is, if manual selection was done, this particular student would have missed his/her placing at UPNG but the new system might do justice for this particular student and definitely not for the Economics Division. And also this student accepted by the online system with a GPA of 3.2 and having done Maths B is most likely to fail the first semester at UPNG (economics division in particular) because he/she has not done Maths A.
III) Policy Mismatch: It is likely the introduced online system not able to achieve the intended goal of the GoPNG and of course the bigger goals of the UPNG, particularly for each Schools or Degree Programs; and to a larger extent the goals of the DHERST and therefore mismatching the intended goals prescribed in the National Qualification Framework (NQF). The GoPNG has wide-ranging goals and much higher expectations from the colleges and universities. One of them is the NQF and the Vision 2050 and of course observing an educated population year in year out so that our country's development goals are realised within the expected timeframe.
Finally, based on the likely assumptions pointed above, we are likely to observe the following likely predicted outcomes below:
1. The online selection will be seen to be purportedly rushed through and serving the interests of the online selection software/program owners.
2. A lot many students with better grades (merited students) will be unjustly disadvantaged by this system if the system doesn't have a software that may easily detect differentiation.
3. If DHERST reverts back to the old selection system (manual selection) after learning that the introduced system (online) has failed, DHERST must explain how the lost millions of Kina to the owners of the software will be recovered. And also the owners must apologise to the people of PNG for rushing it through whilst protecting the truth.
4. Universities and colleges will be left in a lot of suspense and confusion, with many of students selected by online system having not met the requirements of the specific degree programs and Schools.
5. The GoPNG and the colleges and universities goals is likely to be skewed and mismatched if the DHERST has introduced the online selection system that is not able to detect the faults stated above.
6. If my prediction is true, a total waste of taxpayer moneys in already a dilapidated state of economy.