I BELIEVE THAT ALL SCHOOLS should be centres of excellence and doorways into an improved lifestyle.
Children should be exposed to ways and means of living that will open their eyes to lifestyles available but previously unknown.
For the past few years I have offered field days on my farm to the Wau high school. The farm has a piggery, fish ponds, contour drain beds, clay brick making and a ram pump that uses water to pump water. I also have a general store that uses the only computerised point of sale in Wau.
The teachers pay lip service to my offers with no apparent intention of taking them up.
I advised them to start a coppice wood plot in vacant hillsides to produce firewood for the cook house. No action and no request for advice.
I feel that that the education system is full of time-servers and that the good teachers are demoralised. The students and PNG are the worse off for this lack of direction and initiative.
It seems the entire upper echelon of the education service has been there too long and is only interested in how to please their political masters and aid givers.
How teachers in general can claim to be dedicated to the advancement of learning defeats my powers of deduction.
I know there are teachers of ability but they are demoralised by the drones who are eating without working.
Throwing money at free education is making the situation worse; the extra pupils overloading the capacity of those above average teachers and discouraging the ones who could be competent with less pressure.
Sorry to be so down, but teachers’ spokespeople boost the performance of the profession too much. Thinking people know teachers could do much better.
Teachers are no different to you and me but are a part of a huge organisation; they need much better manager than the ones that they are presently inflicted with.
With the increase in class sizes, I suggest that certificate level teachers’ aides be appointed to assist with class control. I have been to schools where kids are suffering from lack of supervision due to teachers having multiple grades to supervise.
One way to control a class of 40-70 kids is to wield a big stick. The humane way is to build extra classrooms and train more teachers.
Our leaders have decided to fool the people by giving free education without improved facilities. The people have been fooled but the development of PNG cannot be improved by these populist actions. We will be able to date a drop in productivity from the implementation of this policy. Another case of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
The smart thing to do would have been to apply all school fees to school improvement. This would make them ready for the increase in teachers needed to implement the free education policy and at the same time maintain or improve standards.
The education bosses should have fought tooth and nail against this free school policy; thereby showing they had the best interests of the students and PNG at heart.
Free education is good for the poor and bad for PNG. It is also bad for the people who could afford to pay and now will have their kids in overcrowded classrooms taught by harassed teachers.