Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) Reports Education System in Crisis

PORT MORESBY - A Comprehensive report on the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) has painted a damning picture of the entire education system in Papua New Guinea.

The report, prepared by a government task force, contained 48 recommendations for a complete overhaul of the system, including a new standards-based curriculum focused on increasing the teaching of English and Mathematics at elementary and primary school levels.

It found that teachers had very low reading and writing skills, and should be given additional training in reading, writing, and Mathematics

The report noted that there were striking similarities between the South African and PNG experience of OBE.

Both countries had inadequate teacher training and support, leading to poor implementation, and more alarmingly, a decline in standards of literacy and basic Mathematics.

The task force, while concluding that an outcomes-based approach should be retained, suggested that recently-published text books should be used and adapted.

The report was presented to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in May and approved last week by Cabinet, which has directed the Education Department to implement it.

Earlier this week, O’Neill said it was now up to the department to take the lead in implementation of the report.

“We are now referring it to the bureaucrats to implement the recommendations. They (task force) have made 48 specific recommendations. Cabinet has accepted all the recommendations made by the task force.

“We have directed the department and their officials to implement that fully,” the PM said.

The terms of reference for the task force were to review the OBE and if necessary, develop an exit strategy, particularly at the elementary level.

Its primary findings include the need for a new curriculum framework.

The task force summarised the failure of the OBE as: Originated by ‘outsiders’; Hard to lead and manage; Inadequate resourcing and planning to implement; Teachers did not understand the framework; and Parents did not understand the changes. [TheNational]
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