A GROUP of teaches in Kiunga, North Fly, Western, have discussed the low
performance and key strategies to improve the education standard in the
St Gabriel’s Technical Secondary School teachers, through the
week-long in-service programme, discovered why students in Western were being
marginalised in quality education and tertiary institution selection every year.
Despite the funding constraints from the provincial education division every
year to run the National In-Service Training (NIST) week for the teachers in the
province, St Gabriel’s Technical Secondary still managed to host its NIST.
The training highlighted key issues on education standards of Western and
the approaches that can be implemented to improve the provincial education
The training revealed from the provincial education data compiled
by the Education Department that Western is always performing very low every
year compared to other provinces.
The quality of the Grade 8 students
produced in the province is very poor, thus at the secondary level, teachers
have double difficulty to teach the ill equipped students.
Even though the
national cut-off for the Grade 9 selection is 80%, provinces have their own
cut-off mark depending on space availability, disadvantages and gender issues.
Unlike other provinces, Western Grade 9 selection goes as low as 40% which
means getting more students into Grade 9 with average and below average ranks in
the National Grade 8 Examination Results.
That has caused chain effects on
the Grade 10 and Grade 12 provincial results and selections.
have raised concern on this unheard issue and strongly recommended that primary
schools teachers, parents and board of governors must be serious in the
Generalist type of teaching Grades 7 and 8
recommended by the Provincial Education Board must be totally abolished in 2015
and all the teachers teaching in the upper primary level must take up specialist
teaching approach as well as upgrading their qualification to degree level in
order to prepare the students well for Grade 9.
It was revealed that only
few locally educated students make it to tertiary institutions.
The bulk of
Western students who make it to tertiary institution are schooling outside of
That means students can still perform well if all the schools
are equipped with necessary resources and teachers.
provinces, Western does not have a guidance officer.
However, recently one
was appointed but is Port Moresby-based and it was recommended that the province
must have a permanent guidance officer for the province and must be in the
province and not Port Moresby-based.
A guidance officer is very important in
course advising and selection.
Schools in Western have been spending their
own money to accommodate guidance officers who come from Port Moresby.
The decline in the standard is very risky and seemed to be a state of
emergency for education in Western. Teachers have called on all the stakeholders
and political leaders to be serious in the education development given it as a
resource rich province.
If schools are not producing the best students, what
hope do we have for the participation in the resource sector?
Monitoring curriculum standards reveal trends in actual standards,
which are valuable for teachers and schools to know their standards in
comparison with national and provincial standards.
By far Western has scored
very poorly on the national scale and this calls for a total overhaul in its
The training heard that generally in the country
every year the grade 12 students certified increased by 5% or more.
number of secondary schools increases by two or more schools per year.
However, the number of tertiary intuitions or spaces available at the
current tertiary institutions has not increased rapidly for the past five years
unlike secondary schools.
The number of Grade 12 students given scholarship
every year for tertiary institutions has been constant for the last couple of
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