I WOULD LIKE TO RAISE some important aspects of the Outcome-Based Curriculum, or Outcome Based Education (OBE), in Papua New Guinea.
Let me begin, by saying, large numbers of children in developing countries receive little or no formal education.
I would like to share with you some important lessons to consider, especially during this time when we have new changes and new influences that had crept into our education practices.
As someone who spent most of his time working and studying in PNG, I think it is the right time to raise an issue of great concern - the OBE system in PNG. I am sure Solomon Islanders would learn a lot from this OBE lesson in the PNG education system.
PNG has undergone some substantive changes since 1994 to cater for the new OBE education reform.
It has been generally agreed that OBE would accommodate the real needs and aspirations of Papua New Guineans.
Many Papua New Guineans would expect that OBE would bring changes in the curriculum status, identifying the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that all students would achieve at a particular grade in a particular subject.
However, what the government of PNG and its people were expecting did not eventuate. The OBE reform has now come to a deadlock. Results gathered nationwide shows that there is a big problem with the implementation process.
Therefore, the government of PNG has decided to scrap OBE and retain the old system, Objective Base Education.
Generally speaking, the reform, although a good idea, in practice lacked many resources to foster its implementation.
From my own observation and research experience, I would like to mention that much of the policy would need more planning and feasibility groundwork before it can become a reality in school settings.
In addition, the government literally failed to fully capacitate the education system in the light of this reform. Lack of qualified teaching personnel and specialist manpower meant that the students learning experiences in classroom was seriously affected.
It created a lot of problems for the teachers who had direct contact with students in the classroom.
The government of PNG accepted Outcome Based Education without proper preparation in terms of adequate facilities, relevant teaching and learning materials, and properly trained specialist teachers to teach the content of newly introduced subjects.
In Papua New Guinea, the formal education system appears to fail more students than help them.
As such, the number of students enrolled for further studies is still low comparable to other Pacific nations. Even the literacy rate for PNG is, according to recent statistics, one of the lowest in the Asia Pacific region.