Early Childhood Education/Early Years

Debra Laxton and Marilyn Leask with inputs from the MESH Early Years Editorial Board | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
Early Childhood Education/Early Years
Effective learning
Activities and Types of Play
Case Studies

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea: contribution by Fiona Kirby, VSO

Reference: https://edu.pngfacts.com > education-news

Papua New Guinea’s early childhood learning has a working standards document to measure a child’s development from kindergarten to Grade 2 (ages 3 to 8 years). The Early Childhood Standards have been designed to be a high quality set of benchmarks. To make the implementation of them achievable, it is important to keep in mind that this will not happen in a short space of time. Teachers and assistants will need to be trained to ensure they understand what is meant in each of the early learning areas. Whilst some useful resources can be purchased most can be made locally.

Within the Standards, Jolly Phonics has been identified as the most appropriate for the children. This programme of teaching phonics to young children is just one of a number of phonics programmes. It is the one that UOG has decided to use in the training of its teachers.

Children need the freedom to explore and play. Play also contributes to brain development. Evidence from research shows that the early years of a child’s development (from birth to age six) set the basis for learning, behaviour and health throughout life. The child’s neural pathways are in uenced in their development through the exploration, thinking, problem-solving and language expression which occur during play. Play nourishes every aspect of children’s development – it forms the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life. Play paves the way for learning

The Standards document was produced (in collaboration with Volunteers Services Overseas) and launched by The University of Goroka’s School of Education and includes a DVD to assist teachers to use the Standards.

The Standards work as a syllabus containing six key learning areas for children’s learning, designed by Papua New Guineans for Papua New Guineans. The six areas set the foundation for the early childhood curriculum, which needs to be developed. There is much work that needs to be done, but at least the foundations have been laid for early childhood education.

The documents support the teacher to deliver the type of education offered in larger privately run schools such as those under the International Education Association (IEA), allowing the larger population in the country access to quality education as well.

While there is an interest to move Early Childhood Education from the Welfare Department to the National Department of Education, the gap in standards has now been bridged through this document.

UOG’s School of Education has been collaborating with organizations such as Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO), World Vision, UNICEF, Book Bilong Pikinini, and Save the Children on its Early Childhood Education Programme.