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Subject: Educational System in Enga Questioned


Author:
AMOTLS
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Date Posted: Mon, Dec 08 2008, 05:46:39pm

If you were in primary school in the 1980s, you might realize that your spoken and written English has a distinctive variance to that of someone who went to school in the late 1990s. Further more, children who are being enrolled in the Elementary schools (TPPS) currently (1999 +) where essentially, lessons, activities or in general communication is either being conversed or channelled via our native language (Enga pii) or pidgin, exhibit a totally new form of communication in English.

The latter is terrible, poor, and reflects an enormous deficiency in exposure to spoken (oral) English. Six months ago, I visited Sangurap, Amala, Teremanda and Sari. Whilst at these four places, I walked in to four different Tok Ples Preschool classrooms built to the size of garages with bush material. What astonished me the most were the drawings and writings on the walls. Initially, my mind wondered off trying to connect with my mouth to pronounce a series of words which were equated to the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, ........................10. Naturally, I did figure out what these all meant. Mendai=1, Lapo=2, Tepo=3, kiromend=4,................Akalit - Mendai=10

My friend, a former elementary school teacher, Mr. Kati (not his real name) who was my guide during this trip provided me with facts concerning the school/education system which he had been a part of. He had been teaching children in the Tok Ples Pre-School (TPPS) for half a decade in which he started his TPPS career in Pumas in the Laiagam/Porgera district. When asked about his qualifications in teaching Engas future generation, he mentioned he was a grade six drop out.
One day, the tribal councillor asked for interested youths who wished to be teachers to submit their names. Mr. Kati did submit his name and a week later, he was informed that the village was going to build him a classroom and he would commence teaching in Tok Ples. Occasionally, (once every quarter), he would gather with all other TPPS teachers and head down to Wabag for about two weeks for short courses and to be issued with teaching materials of some sort.

Mr. Katiís story sent frightful thoughts through my mind. What I had just heard was entirely opposite to what I had gone through as a child. When I went to school, I learned to spell one for 1, two for 2, three for 3 etc...........................and my first grade teacher was a wholly qualified personal who had spent a couple of years in some teachers institutions getting moulded, shaped and educated to go out, teach and mentor my era.
At present, we have this educational system in place and I am just wondering what is going to happen to the future of our province and this nation. Reading other literatures, I was flushed to read that in 1989 Parliament approved a Literacy and Awareness Program that specified that children should learn to read and write in their own language, giving the highest level of approval to initial literacy in the vernacular. During this latter period the vernacular languages became an accepted and integral part of the early village school curricula. Early top-down control of local education using English only was gradually reversed.

Something is not right. Maybe we should return back to the former Literacy Program where English is the only acceptable language taught in schools by qualified professionals.
Imagine this, during my schooling days, I was punished for speaking the Enga language in class or in the school grounds, I hope you guys were too. Now, who cares? Children are speaking and writing in Enga. This is an immediate issue at hand and needs to be looked at ASAP.

AMOTLS

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[> Subject: Re: Educational System in Enga Questioned


Author:
NARO
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Date Posted: Mon, Dec 08 2008, 10:35:10pm

Good observation and thoughts, AMOTLS! I have developed an idea and am writing about it so I will publish it here or forward it to the Department of Education when the time is right and when we have the right people doing what is supposed to be done as human beings created in the likeness of God.

"Dogs cannot be fed with human food" so I am preserving it! When psychos run the show people suffer but when the wise rules people rejoice! The Government, Opposition and the Public Service machinery in PNG are all ruled by psychos and we are feeling the consequences!

Cheers & God Bless!
NARO

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[> Subject: Re: Educational System in Enga Questioned (The whole system has failed students)


Author:
Kanopate (Merry X-Mas to All)
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Date Posted: Tue, Dec 09 2008, 10:32:18pm

AMOTLS, what you've raised here touches one of the core issues in the present elementary school system that is a cause for greater concern. Personally, this has frustrated me because the current system has failed or done little to improve a child's literacy and numeracy skills. People in the education system need to understand this because the effects of these can alter the very way a child's brain understands literacy and numeracy at an early age. These should be the fundamental building blocks and it should be set right from the start.

The original TPPs system was a very successful program at that time. TPPS was initiated and started in Enga. The curriculum and teaching materials were all developed in Wabag and distributed to all schools. (Note that no other province in PNG had any system like this). All the TPPs teachers were properly trained to teach pre-school kids in the Engan language and not English. The Engan Provincial Government funded this. I have worked part time for TPPS in Wabag and I have seen the results. Engan grade six students had the highest pass marks in the country at that time (about 90 percent -95 percent) in the exam. It was well presented and gave every student going into grade one a firm understanding of basic numeracy and literacy.

The national government saw this success in Enga, modified it and made it a national standard that has failed in its intended to educate. The current system and the curriculum in itself is a mess. In my view the Engan government should scrap the Elementary School system immediately and the TPPS program should be re-started. Furthermore there should be only one Secondary School (yr 11-12) in Enga (Kopen) and the rest (Pausa, Wabag, Kandep, Anditale, Laiagam and Kompiam) should have grades 7 to 10. The provincial government should find initiatives (maybe bonus pay) to lure the best teachers to Engan schools at every level and this in my view will produce the best students and better Enga for all!

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[> Subject: Re: Educational System in Enga Questioned


Author:
catlexicon
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Date Posted: Mon, Feb 16 2009, 06:14:10am

I taught at Anditale in 1980/81---I would appreciate some feedback as to what is going on in Enga now............

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