And, after a bit of an absence as he pursued more athletic interests, Loch Blatchford [pictured amidst his collection] has returned to the exacting task of writing abstracts of these documents to make them more accessible to researchers and to a general readership.
The bulk of the collection comprises letters and documents from the files of the PNG Department of Education before 1977. These are supplemented by material from other PNG departments and a number of private collections.
If you have documents relating to education in Papua New Guinea, you might care to email Loch Blatchford and advise him. Researchers are also welcome to get in touch with Loch.
The Blatchford Collection for 1968, together with abstracts for all the other years from 1944, is now available here in PNG Attitude.
Much of 1968 is spent examining all levels of the education system to determine its future structure, direction and related manpower needs. There is a move to involve the religious Missions in educational planning for a unified approach to education and economic development.
In January the Secondary Planning Group issues a 140-page report to support the establishment of a number of new high schools and the expansion of existing high schools.
In March the ‘Report of Joint Working Party on Educational Policy’ is produced. The report written by the Administration and the Department of External Territories, but strongly influenced by Director of Education Ken McKinnon, sets the framework for the Administration and the Missions to form an integrated education system planned on a national basis and staffed by a unified teaching service.
In August and September Professor LJ Lewis undertakes a look at the primary curriculum and advises against a rural bias. He also recommends a committee of inquiry be appointed to report on the question of relationships between the Mission and Administration education systems.
McKinnon discusses the matter with Canberra but goes on leave on 3 September and does not return until the end of February 1969. The latter half of 1968 is spent organising the membership of a committee. Beeby is a firm member and Canberra suggests Weeden as another.
In July the Ministerial Member and Assistant Member system is introduced into Parliament with Members being required to be in Port Moresby for three weeks each month to meet with the Administrator and become involved in policy and budget planning.
Mathias ToLiman the Ministerial Member for Education is taking more responsibility and the Missions, especially the Catholics, which he feels may become a tool for the Administration.
‘Programmes and Policies for the Economic Development of Papua and New Guinea’ is released in September.
The Governor-General reconstitutes the Department of Territories as the Department of External Territories so that it may concentrate the bulk of its activities on Papua and New Guinea.
And, for those readers who have not visited the Collection before, here’s what just one of those thousands of abstracts looks like:
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, ST LUCIA, 1983
“After the 1968 election we had in mind the appointment of some Ministerial Members from the Pangu Pati but the party rejected these proposals preferring to be independent of government decisions. Pangu was well led in the House by Michael Somare, with strong support from Tony Voutas, Ebia Olewale, Pita Lus and others.” p16