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24 April 2014

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Betty - Thank you for giving an insight to the education system both in China and Papua New Guinea especially the classroom setting.

I would say the PNG way of learning between teacher and student is good, in a sense that the teacher is not spoon feeding the students all the time. Nevertheless the system we have gives opportunity to students to go out research and bring in more information to add on to the existing knowledge shared by the teacher.

My lecturer has a philosophy that he always shares in class: "No One Has Monopoly Over Knowledge".

This encourages students in my class to go out and do more research and they come up with new informations and ideas when we do presentations in class. Research as i have come across is a very important tool in a students life, not only students but for every academic.

What we need is for good learning facilities: library with up to date books, internet service and a good learning environment etc for all learning institutions in PNG: from Primary schools to tertiary institutions, which would be an advantage to the type of learning we have in PNG.

Betty good comparisons.Something for our educationists to take note.

However, let me say this: An Education system and how effective it is, can often be influenced by the dominant culture and political system of a country.


China given its political system would appear to have a more controlled and centralised system of education. And then as you rightly say, our cultures also have a bearing on how education is both percived and received. Many parents in PNG do not push and monitor their children, because to them sending them to school is all that is required of them. Teachers should take care educating their children.

Ours is very much decentralised. The quality and outcome appears to be left in the hands of so many people in an apparently decentralised system: We need the National Education Dept through the government to set the policies and education agenda and curriculum, then we need the Provincial Education Boards to be working effetcively to drive the policy and curriculum in the provinces, then we have school boards who are often an authority and government unto themselves, then we go further and need to have good school administration and quality teachers to be delivering the curriculum, the teachers even if qualified need to be physically and mentally committed to teaching the subjects; then we need the communities, the parents and the students themselves to look after the school and value the education that is provided.

Too many cooks spoil the soup!! No wonder we have schools that are performing very well and there are schools that are not performing so well in terms of their graduates each year. Some performing schools all over suddent drop when committed staff leave the schools. So it can be seen that individuals in the system make diferences, not the system per se.

One thing, our education system in this country needs to be better controlled and managed.

Then we have so called Christain schools that are privately run that alllow their pupils and students to sing Kumbaiah half the time, sugarcoated with all the good that can come out of attending these schools. Alhtough they operate as permitted schools, one wonders whether they ever get audited for quality and relevance. What curriculum do they use? Are they teachers qualified to teach? etc.. And the fees are so high yet parents are led to think that their children are better educated in them...

There are also private schools sprouting out in so many places.

So you tend to wonder who is really providing quality and affordable education for the majority of the families, who simply want their children to get a good education but at an affortdable fee.

In PNG, There is no shame and feeling of reproach in missing classess and totally opting out of school; whereas in China and other Asian countries, such behaviour would be shameful!

Education is basically knowledge processing and developing human potential. The difference may be in the principles and values that underpin it, and how that is situated within the overall context of national development (for both China and PNG.)

Time to do some real thinking and not just pushing money and resources into a system that is probably already strained for very ovious reasons.

Please keep writing!

A very insightful juxtapose piece.

In my 2 years in China, I taught English at a kindergarten and as well a language school to kids as young as 2 to teenagers.

The name 'Laoshi' or teacher in English is a very respectful tag. Parents and students give a great amount of respect to teachers.

Due to the OBE reform, PNG is trying to move away from the Banking concept that China is practicing. Formerly, we see the teacher as the only source of knowledge or a bank of knowledge like the Chinese.

However, in the 21st century with the rapid advancement in technology, knowledge is every where. According to Fr Jan Czuba; "knowledge is in the cloud". Cloud refers to the internet.

Teachers are required to play the role of facilitators. This helps students to be innovative and inquisitive. In other words, teachers give verbal instructions and the hook to students and let them catch fish on their own. If they find it hard to catch fish then they come back to the teacher for help.

The only problem with this at the secondary and primary level is access to printed and cyber learning materials. For students to further investigate and do research they need access to good information contained in libraries and the internet.

Divine Word University pays millions of kina to have access to online databases like JSTOR and other sites. Staff and students are using materials from various online journals and Google scholar to expand their knowledge.

Thus, DWU is going with the trend of student centered learning. Which from my opinion is good for the country.

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