Sitting L-R: Hon James Marape (MP), Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and Prof Musawe Sinebare (PhD), Vice Chancellor, University of Goroka. Prof Govinda Lingam (PhD), Head of SOEd, FALE, USP.
A recent National Education Conference in Papua New Guinea was reminded that the centrality of teachers’ role in the process of children’s education is invaluable especially in the region.
Professor Govinda Lingam, Professor in Education and Head of the School of Education at The University of the South Pacific (USP) made the comment while delivering his keynote address at the conference, which was organised by the University of Goroka in PNG from 17 – 19 September 2019.
The conference, which was officially opened by Hon James Marape (MP), Prime Minister of PNG, focussed on the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) with the theme, “Sustainability, Emerging Trends and Future prospects”.
Professor Lingam’s presentation was based on the Future Educational Prospects in the Pacific region and the world over. In his Keynote presentation on the third day of the three day conference,
He expounded on the topic: Succession Planning for Human Resources: The Case of the Teaching Service.
Prof Lingam’s presentation was based on planning of human resources, a key aspect of quality educational provision that deserves a lot more attention at all levels of education in the Pacific region.
He emphasised that the supply of teachers, educational leaders, and policy-makers is a concern in small developing nations in the Pacific.
“In fact it is becoming a challenge for some developed countries too such as Australia, and New Zealand but these countries attract many of the region’s well qualified teachers,” he said.
Professor Lingam expressed concern that the region lacks in both quantitative and qualitative grounds about the supply of specialised cadre of educational personnel.
He noted that having an adequate number of well prepared and motivated teachers available in schools is vitally important.
He stressed that a school may have enough buildings and good classrooms, resource materials, appropriate funds and high pupil enrolments.
“The value of all these benefits; however, is greatly reduced without an adequate supply of suitable teachers. In many small island developing states, such as those in the Pacific region, teachers continue to be the primary agents for the learning and teaching process,” he said.
Prof Lingam proposed that in order to cope with the current high demand for education, a successive planned provision of educational personnel such as teachers is necessary in the Pacific region including Papua New Guinea.
Moreover, he emphasised that both short-and long-range successive planning activities are vital to meet the present and future demands for qualified teachers, educational leaders and policy-makers in the teaching service, to ensure qualitative improvement in education in the Pacific region as a whole.
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