By MORTIMER YANGHARRY
THE concept of online examination and e-learning will soon be introduced by the Department of Education after Think Tank Quiz (TTQ) conducted a three-day workshop in Port Moresby last week.
The workshop was attended by 40 officers from the curriculum development and assessment division (CDAD) that includes the measurement services branch (MSB) who are responsible for school examinations in the country.
Workshop facilitator and TTQ director, John Kama said that the training was purposely done to introduce the department into what was already a global phenomenon in digital education.
“A lot of the school systems around the world have gone digital in terms of e-learning and online examinations and Papua New Guinea should be no exception. We hope to set the foundation for the future with such training”.
Director for curriculum division, Steven Tandale said that was the first time they were introduced to such training and challenged his officers to take curriculum resources and examinations a step further in digitalising them.
“It will take some time but it is better to make a start now than waiting,” Tandale said.
It was pointed out in the workshop that the introduction of computer and internet technology has changed the face of learning. The world is moving towards virtual schools or e-learning where an entire school is online.
The division was further challenged during the workshop to start putting out electronic copies of curriculum materials online for schools around the country to access.
“Electronic copies of books and teaching materials are cost effective and easy to update, they can be easily accessed by anyone with internet access anywhere,” Kama said.
“Given the accessibility given to us by our communications company in PNG, wherever you have a mobile phone reception in PNG, you can access those materials if they are available online,” Kama said.
Kama urged the department to always have a back-up electronic copies of school curriculum materials online besides the hard copies they produce, in case if those books gets burnt, destroyed or stolen, the institutions can still continue classes with the online copies.
On the final day of the workshop, the participants were given a field trip to Mt Diamond Secondary School, outside Port Moresby, where they inspected the online examination facility.
Tandale said that a lot of the officers were impressed with the technology and said with a few more pilot schools around the country and evaluation of the technology, they should be ready to roll this out across the country one day.
“Online examination is a great concept to introduce. It will save the department a lot of money in the long run. We would be interested to work with TTQ to further dialogue, pilot and research of this concept and hopefully in the next five years we should be ready to try something out,” Tandale said.
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