TESS GIZORIA | Kokoda Track Foundation
NAMATANAI - 377 elementary teachers from across New Ireland Province gained their certificates of elementary teaching last Thursday in the Teach for Tomorrow project.
The project is an initiative of the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF), PNG Education Institute and New Ireland Provincial Department of Education.
The certificate enables partially trained teachers – some 7,500 across Papua New Guinea – to meet the government’s new minimum qualifications required of elementary teachers.
Without additional certification, the teachers would no longer be employable on the government’s payroll, putting at risk the schooling of 225,000 students.
Generously funded by Newcrest Mining Limited, the James Family Foundation and the New Ireland Government, the skills and knowledge training was delivered over six weeks in facilities hosted by the Kimaden and Katedan communities in Namatanai.
New Ireland is the seventh province in which KTF has delivered this training which has involved 1,629 teachers in Oro, Gulf, Milne Bay, Morobe, Manus, New Ireland and Bougainville.
“It has been another extraordinary training program,” said Dr Genevieve Nelson, CEO of KTF.
“Graduation was an emotional day.
"Many teachers had waited a long time for training in their province, and now they can return to their classrooms as properly qualified teachers, eligible for transfer to the government payroll.”
Congratulating the graduates and their partners, Peter Aitsi, Newcrest PNG country manager, said: “We are very proud to support this critical and exciting program.
"It is not just underpinning PNG’s teaching network but also the livelihoods of teachers, their students, and the communities into which they both contribute.”
At the graduation celebration each graduate was presented with a solar light together with their certificate so they can prepare classwork after dark.
KTF is continuing to roll out the training to more partially-trained elementary teachers in other provinces and will shortly kick off in Central and Simbu.