OUTCOME BASED EDUCATION IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Outcome Based Education is an educational system that focused on student centered model of learning measuring on their participation and performance that is result driven in learning. This learning system basically demonstrates the students learning behavior which is empirical and guided. In the U.S. is has been popular in the 80’s and this system has become experimental in other countries in the 90’s but some countries basically used it as a learning methodology in replacement of traditional learning process. Its outcome can be easily asses and measured.
The difference of OBE is that students are to be measured individually this means that teachers can use a variety of grading system rather than the traditional written examination and therefore the grade of the student is not based entirely on academic but also in other area of competence while in traditional learning students are spoon feed or they are ordered to memorized about lessons and that should be most the basis in grading rather than a part of it.
This has been the reason why student who memorize more achieved more in school giving only a little emphasize on other areas of learning practice and somehow the teacher is the one who control the authority and grading system base on what is written on their books and what they dictates to the students. This has been the old pattern in learning which the academe and scholars finds it to be obscure and somehow lacking of value and sense of real education. That is why in an attempt to change the system the Outcome Based Education has been introduced to focus on four basic principles of clarity of learning, expanded opportunities, expectation and design.
This open up a whole new opportunity of students to excel in other field rather than the academic area of competence but they can explore a more progressive behavior in learning. In Papua New Guinea the system has been adopted in Curriculum Reform Implementation Project (CRIP) The Government of PNG (GoPNG) and the Government of Australia (GoA) has been very supportive to even extend a fund up to the year of 2006. It has been suggested in 1998 and thoroughly implemented in 2000 and slowly be implemented nationwide up to 2009 from various elementary grades up to the primary grades, slowly reaching to the present times till it capture the whole nations. The goal was to improve the quality of education.
The basic principles of the system was emphasized to the teacher and also taught to the student about the reform that the learning outcome was student centered. The National Curriculum Statement endorsed it as an appropriate system in learning that they assure the student can learn new skills, new ideas new attitude and skills. Most of all it also includes Information Technology which is highly needed around the world. The reform also includes developmental approach in learning the basic intellectual, emotional, cultural and spiritual approach. The students will learn in a more practical rather than traditional manner and teacher will act as a support rather than the only source in learning.
But undeniably for the last 14 years Papua New Guinea has gone through a series of changes and reforms in education structure that resulted in confusion and many studies revealed that parents and students simply lack education after graduation from elementary and there are no signs or changes for the students therefore outcome based education is not appropriate to the Guinean people. Parents would argue that such curriculum changes or system changes from traditional to Outcome Based Education never really met the qualification of their children to find a job or to be accepted in factories which has been their basic needs.
The people are calling back to resurrect the old education system but the government cannot immediately return back the system rather it will take years to reform back the plan which has been funded largely by the government and other organization. Australian Government have spent a large amount for the project in reform but still show no sign of progression from students the people even perceived that the Outcome Based Education is a colonial mentally ill performance of the government. Others thought it was deceptive, they say it is deliberately a dumb system. There are many organization and students themselves have opposed the OBE in their country. In as much as the people perceived the system is a failure, even the teachers would say that the English system has no order.
This goes to show that Outcome Based Education system has been a good system in other countries but does not necessarily be beneficial to others, the outcome of education and the majority proved that the system has not been effective. The system itself is not the problem and it cannot be held responsible but the immediate and the lack of planning before implementation shows a heavy burden in the country of Papua New Guinea that result in a cry of the people. While there is nothing wrong in a reform for the government looks for ways to change but its negative effects shows that the only thing they can do is to revert back to the traditional system to ease their burden, but the people must need to wait for it to be fully exercised.