TESS GIZORIA | Kokoda Track Foundation
PORT MORESBY - Ten Papua New Guinean education leaders last week completed a professional development week as part of an international award offered by the Australian government.
The Australian Awards Fellowship enabled the Fellows to deepen and broaden their links with leading academics from Western Sydney University and its partners in the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF).
The fellowship focus was to improve teacher training in Papua New Guinea to enhance the education of children and young people with disabilities.
Fellows were in Sydney from 18 June to 14 July involved in high quality networking and professional development activities to promote inclusive education practices and the transfer of these to PNG.
Last week, the Fellows met in Port Moresby to share the findings of their research projects which had been planned in Australia and implemented on their return home.
The fellowships resulted in strong networks being established between the Fellows and the Australian team of university academics Dr Danielle Tracey and Dr Katrina Barker and their KTF partners Dr Genevieve Nelson and Petra Arifeae.
This has led to the development of a number of post-fellowship initiatives which will see further improvements to inclusive educational practices in PNG.
The ten Fellows are Paul Valuka (PNG Department of Education), Cathy Sowi (PNG Department of Education), Wilfred Baambu (Callan Inclusive Education Institute), Ellice Moko (PNG Education Institute), Kenn Gene (PNG Education Institute), John Wanis (PNG Education Institute), Siwert Robert (Balob Teachers College), Gladys Robins (Dauli Teachers College), David Wine (Madang Teachers College) and Vengal Vangun (Gaulim Teachers College).
The assistance from the PNG Department of Education in the development of the fellowship program was exceptional.