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Mon February 24, 2020 05:52:07Login ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12[3]4 ]
Subject: Why Students Fail as graduate students

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Date Posted: 03:18:26 12/30/99 Thu

an issue of student failure at UNSW was raised in the Wantok Forum which I thought might be interesting here.
Reasons abound and debatable as to why students don't make it. The scenario is not limited to the students at the UNSW. We can say with all confidence that many PNGian students throughout the world endure similar experiences every year. It is not uncommon to speculate that PNG suffers from varied reasons vis a viz. prior preparations at undergraduate education, selection of candidates, commitment and sacrifice whilst on study stream such as giving priority to library searches and completing assignments, and putting aside cultural responsibilities for the duration of the program. Staff development officers in the public service will often tell anyone who care to listen that many candidates are simply not studious enough, intelligent, tasol mauswara nating and typically unproductive in the work place. They are often sent out as a means of "getting them out of the way." Many are often not high in their employing agency training programs, yet are more committed and successful than the peppered ones. Having said that we must not loose sight of the hard working majority.

There isn't sufficient information on the success or failure rate of PNG students at the UNSW to make a conclusive judgement on why PNG students discontinue their programs. The likely scenario for UNSW is that that Sydney and its environs is crawling with PNGians of all walks of like and distractions must be high as wantoks drop in on the students and you know what goes on when wantoks meet wantoks. On tasol!

Second, Sydney is only 3 to 4 hours to Port Moresby and many students easily travel during weekends or semester breaks to PNG to get away from it all. Yet we often overlook the difficulty of "getting back into study mode" after a break in which we are bombarded with cultural issues and other problems that can easily diverse us from our focus.

Thirdly, some students just won't distance themselves from their cultural obligation e.g.' financiers of extended family social obligations. One cannot understand how individuals can remain focussed when they have to worry about their education and their extended families. Here is a case where one must make a decision to forego some benefits, even if it means being ostracized by our clans for doing so.

Fourthly, we all are probably ill prepared for higher studies in overseas institutions, and often oblivious to the demands of the schools and the program expectations. We feel intimidated and decide to avoid assistance because we do not wish to be seen as academic jerks by the foreign counselors or our academic advisors. We force ourselves into self-confinement and self pity in our apartments. This is not wistful thinking. It is not uncommon for serving PNG academics on graduate studies to fear their academic advisors rather than drive them up the wall. In some countries the academic advisor takes on the father/mother figure with unrestricted time to the advisees' needs. Perhaps we do not make use of this more or fail to see the need of academic advisors. This brings me to the last issue of self-discipline and maintaining consistency.

Lack of discipline is a curse not limited to our politicians. On these forum invitations for weekend get together seems to point to an obvious PNG past time and how often do we got carried away and forget our primary responsibility. Getting literally drunk is a PNG tradition. I would say and how much time does one waste recuperating from an extended weekend hangover whereas if these weekends could be used more productively we may yet see more students completing than failing. Perhaps PNGian students in the Sydney/NSW could work together in some collaborative program to strengthen our academic pursuits. How I envy you for those of us ol wanpis who often must struggle alone.

Just an Observation

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Re: Why Students Fail as graduate studentstingting08:00:46 01/06/00 Thu

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