More reforms expected in education system

More reforms are expected following the implementation the Standards Based Education (SBE) system.

A key component of this system is the Standards Based Curriculum clearly sets out benchmarks to determine whether or not the child can progress to the next grade, define teaching content according to students’ needs and introduction of new compulsory subjects.

The nationwide Standards Based Curriculum cluster rollout training was launched last week in Port Moresby, and will see 35,000 primary school teachers trained to implement it.

The Standards Based Curriculum is one of 6 main components that make up the SBE system.

Under the curriculum, a standards framework will define specifically what the child is to learn for each subject in each grade, the standards each child is required to meet at the end of each grade and assessment benchmarks.

“So a teacher must know what the standard benchmarks are so that you will teach the child in a way that he or she will achieve the set benchmarks and when they are met, that means the child can progress to the next grade,” explained Education Department Secretary, Dr Uke Kombra.

This will apply to elementary to primary school levels. Teachers will have scripted lesson plans, hence, the same content will be taught right across the country.

Apart from the curriculum, there will be additional 2 new compulsory subjects.

“We have to look at introducing Phonics as a subject for elementary schools and make it as a pre-condition to determine eligibility to progress to Grade 1.

“Phonics becomes a compulsory subject and in other words, a child must be able to read and write and do simple function mathematics before he or she continues to Grade 1,” Dr Kombra clarified further.

Citizenship and Christian Values Education is the other new compulsory subject. 

Other key areas that will be reformed are the examinations and measurement systems, teachers’ lesson teaching preparation, school governance and structure of school systems.

Carolyn Ure