|Meagan Morrison (second from right) with AED staff Luke Aum,
Harold Kaiyaoko, Percy Kaniniba, Larry Dou and Roger Baboa.
Improving Education in PNG
In February 2014, the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea’s (ACPNG) Education Division hosted a strategic meeting of the Diocesan Education Secretaries in Port Moresby.
The Church has 3 secondary schools, over 100 primary schools and many more elementary schools spread across PNG, in the highlands, lowlands, coastal and islands regions of PNG.
Through the Church Partnership Program (CPP), ABM is assisting the Anglican Education Division (AED) to better support its teachers and communities to provide quality education to PNG children.
The CPP is a partnership between Australian AID, ABM and ACPNG along with 6 other PNG churches and their Australian partners aimed largely at improving health and education services to people in rural and marginalised parts of PNG.
This meeting was the first of its kind for many years and one of the outcomes is the program for the Diocesan Schools Conferences is to be held during the first and second terms in each diocese, also funded through the CPP.
As a result of the GoPNG decision to implement the ‘fee free education’ policy in 2014, schools were inundated with students. The extra workload meant that teachers needed to work across the holiday periods that had been the intended time for the Schools Conferences at the end of terms one and two.
It is hoped that they should happen before the end of this year or at the end of term one next year.
As a result of the Diocesan Education Secretaries’ meeting, there has been renewed energy, particularly in Dogura Diocese. The Diocesan Secretary has been gradually visiting all the agency schools within the diocese, some of which are a 2-3 day journey by boat and foot from Dogura. He is spreading awareness about the planned conference to ensure the head teachers and chairs of the Board of Governors (management group for the schools) are able to attend when it does happen.
Learning New Skills
Women and men of all ages from Tsendiap, a rural village in the Jimi Valley in the PNG highlands, have learnt how to bake new and different foods and sew clothes for themselves, their families and to sell in the local market. This is part of the Anglican Church of PNG’s program to build the skills of people in rural PNG to improve their lives through meeting their own needs and by engaging in small scale marketing.
Many of these women and men did not have the opportunity to finish school so this is a wonderful opportunity for them to further their education. They can now have bolts of material flown in and sew their own shirts, skirts, trousers and ‘meri blaus’ (long loose dress worn by PNG women) which is much cheaper than buying pre-made clothes from stores.
During sessions, the participants also discussed current social issues affecting PNG, such as HIV, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and the struggle between traditional and western thinking and practices.
The whole community values these new skills and further trainings will occur in 2015.
|Participants discussing social issues in class at Tsendiap.|
|Learning to cook.|