Ian Johnson is the assistant director of studies at the Nathan Campus of the Griffith English Language Institute. He’s also the son of Sir Leslie (Les) Johnson, as Director of Education a pioneering education administrator in TPNG and, of course, subsequently a distinguished Administrator of the Territory.
Ian studied at ASOPA in 1966-67 and taught in PNG. Recently, like many before him, he’s been attempting to locate an academic transcript of some kind that describes the units in our teacher training program.
By way of an unhelpful response, I mentioned to Ian that ASOPA’s defective record keeping was worsened in the seventies by a fire at the School that severely singed, if not toasted, many files.
The records that remained when I was acting principal of ASOPA’s successor institution ITI 20 years ago, were incomplete. I think many had by then been sent to AIDAB, as it was, and are still there, or perhaps in the Australian Archives. Today’s organisation, AusAID, has never responded to my requests for information. But, as I said to Ian with pride, despite the implicit rebuff I continue to pay my taxes.
Well, discounting my bleak outlook, Ian persisted and came up with information that many of you will find interesting and some of you will find very useful. But first, three critical acronyms.
NEAS = National ELICOS Accreditation Scheme
ELICOS = English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students
TESOL Courses - Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages
Now you’re qualified to proceed.
NEAS has informed Ian that “the teacher training certificate you hold [i.e., the ASOPA certificate] is recognised by NEAS as equivalent to a first degree or diploma with ESL method. NEAS recognises that in the past teacher training consisted of a two or three year diploma plus teaching experience, and that this was government approved teacher training at that time. In summary, I can confirm that your teacher training certificate satisfies NEAS guidelines for a TESOL qualification.”
So congratulations all you ASOPA graduates, you have yet another academic credential.
By the way, Gough Whitlam said in 2002: “We had a lot of way to make up [in PNG education] and we were far too slow in doing these things. There are people like [John] Gunther and Les Johnson to whom I give very great credit for picking up the opportunity to use the teachers' training college to train the future governors, future leaders of PNG. And then at the universities. I tried to get the Hawke government to carry on national language, literacy for all, but they did not go ahead with it.” You see, Gough’s one of us!
[Image: Extract from 1962/63 Cadet Education Officers course handbook]