|Subject: Secretary Pagelio's OBE Defense Shallow
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Date Posted: Wed, Feb 11 2009, 11:46:33am
Secretary Pagelio's OBE Defense Shallow
The Education Secretary's recent defense of the OBE system (09th Feb The National - http://www.thenational.com.pg/020909/letter2.php) was boneless and shallow.
His admission that there were" teaching and learning resources" issues with the OBE, then in the same line countered that, the teachers can be " innovative by using their knowledge and skills". As an ardent critique of OBE, I ask the good Doctor the following.
* How can underpaid teachers (their flight is well known through the media) switch on "innovation buttons" when they feel they're not being well-cared for and looked after by their employer - the government? Innovations come from motivated, content and dynamic employees/workers in all aspects of life.
* With little to nil library facilities in nearly 95% of schools in PNG, where does this innovative and creative juice come from?
* There's no Internet (the 21st century floating library) available for more than 98% of schools in PNG. Where do the teachers get the inspiration to infuse the students with creative and innovative ideas?
* The Minister for Higher Education was recently quoted as saying that there's an acute shortage of "science and Math" teachers. It has been a growing quandary in hundreds of schools right across PNG. These subjects are main areas where innovation, knowledge and skills come from teachers. So I ask: How on earth do you expect innovation and skills come from a "vacuum like this? http://www.col.org/pcf3/Papers/PDFs/Gunasekara_Marasinghe.pdf. The good secretary doesn't seem to know that the "ability to think" at the earlier stage in life comes mostly through science and math subjects.
* It has been observed by Universities (and reported on the media many times) that, OBE graduates' Language, writing and comprehension skills were outrageous. Where does the good Queensland University of Technology educated doctor http://www.alumni.qut.edu.au/awards/alumniawards/2006summary.jsp want to collect the specimen and research materials from for his so-called "requirement of "substantiated research"? Many University leactuters and other school teachers have come our clear on this already. These are the people who interact with the students on a daily basis. Their observation cannot be disregarded by the class-wall people at the Waigani offices.
* It's common knowledge that School Infrastructure nationwide are in shocking and dilapidated state. Is that a good birth place of new ideas and innovation?
* When compared with students from the Old Education System, the current batch of so-called OBE products is deficient in good behaviour, values and positive social attitudes. Does the good doctor want to spoil another generation of PNG citizens in the name of addressing community and industry needs? For his information, he needs to know that the community and the industry doesn't need one ill-disciplined and careless person.
* The Gr 10 and Gr 12 Examination Standards have hit ground zero - and going negative. The examination questions are not stimulating and complex unlike the Pre OBE days. The OBE system is mass producing A's and B's that don't reflect reasoning and understanding skills of the students. A quick glance at a 1992 Gr 12 Physics and Math Papers with a 2006 Exam papers tells a world of difference.
Mr Secretary, the country needs better explanation on the above from your desk. If you cannot provide any more simple and better answers to the above, I say, scrap OBE starting 2010.
Please don't waste our time by asking for substantiated research findings. Definitely the world is not waiting for PNG. Your department's ill-advised decisions have shunted the growth and progress of PNG in a major scale already.
Pre-OBE Era Student
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