“We need to refine the way we think by taking a step back and examining ourselves, by really reflecting on our weaknesses and finding ways of strengthening our Education system.”
These were the words of CEO for Education Apelis Benson during the opening of a week-long in-service program for teachers at the New Hanover High School on Konamatalik in the Lavongai LLG on Monday the 28th of June.
The event was attended by New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan, Provincial Education Board Chairlady Dr Kappa Malpo, members of the Provincial Executive Council, Commissioner of operations to the National Teachers Commission Maini Ugaia Junior, Headmasters for 27 Primary Schools and 63 Elementary school teachers.
Benson conveyed that the current Education system needs to come up with innovative ways of making students more competitive.
“Knowledge is power. Our students must be able to think critically and be able to make good decisions after interpreting information put to them. The way you speak to your students also determines their reality. Let’s make Education everyone’s business,” said Benson.
Teachers make up the highest number of Public servants in the country. Up to 70,000 teachers are recognized by the Teaching Service Commission.
With the need to upskill more teachers the Commission has approved to set up 60 teacher training positions in every province. To be effective as of 2022. “The onus lies on the provinces to fully utilize those positions and to ensure our teachers are upgraded to University level,” said Commissioner Maini Ugaia Junior.
New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan urged the Educationists not to only teach their students subjects from the West but to also teach Papua New Guinea’s history the way Papua New Guineans experienced it.
“ We have been here for 40,000 years, while we embrace English and Mathematics. History is one of those subjects that is very important. We need to teach our students our own history too,” said Sir J.
Sir J conveyed to the Teachers that they have the power to excite children about learning, which means they can become anyone, anything they want to be.
“All of the most powerful people, all of the most successful people, all of them had the thirst for knowledge instilled in them in their first years of education, or they would not be where they are today.
All of them owe their life’s achievements to one or two Elementary School Teachers who got them excited about learning. That is the greatest effect anyone can have on a small child.”
The New Ireland Government aims to make all high schools, secondary schools next year. “ And we will call them colleges,” said Sir J.