The School has inherited from Goroka Teachers’ College and UPNG Faculty of Education with a diverse range of programs catering for all part of education system in Papua New Guinea. The School of Education was established in 1997 under then Faculty of Education with two Departments: Dept of Educational Foundation and Dept of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies then.
With the ongoing revisions and restructure of academic programs to meet the current diverse needs of the stakeholders the Faculty was changed to School of Education and three academic departments were relabelled and implemented since 2013 as Divisions.
The School of Education now has thirty-five academic staff and four non-academic staff.
The academic programs of each division are briefly explained below.
DIVISION OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT, SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT & GENDER STUDIES
This academic year 2017 marks the fifth year of the successful implementation of courses in our new independent division (ELM, SDGS) under the new structure. We are offering both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Bachelor of Education In-service full-time for two years in Educational Leadership & Management and Social development and Gender Studies. Students who come to do a major in Educational Leadership and Management are experienced school administrators of secondary, primary and technical and vocational schools.
They undergo studies in educational management and leadership, policy and planning and development and human resources management. We also offer a one year honours in Educational Leadership and Management, a two years Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Management and a 3-5 years PhD in Educational Leadership and Management. They all do courses focusing in educational administration, leadership and management strategies.
The other discipline on Social Development and Gender Studies aims to introduce to the students that gender is a developmental and a cross cutting issue in PNG. We prepare them for the challenges of working in coalition with different stakeholders such as policy makers, government and non-government organisations as well as those international organisations advocating for gender and developmental issues. The program provides the opportunity for students to study contemporary issues affecting both men and women in PNG, issues affecting education in developing countries, informal and non-formal education in PNG and aboard, gender and leadership studies, women and empowerment, gender based violence in PNG, gender equity policies, community and traditional education and any other developmental issues. This program has affiliated with the Eastern Highlands Family Voice and signed the MOA last year 2016.
The signing of the MOU was to show that we work in partnership with the NGOs to promote gender and social development issues in our country. The collaboration would enable students to access project sites operated by Family Vice to gain practical experience. The country has a big responsibility to its people and in particular, its women population, to engender a culture of gender sensitive and responsiveness in programs and project development to address gender and developmental issues.
Since the program was introduced in 2014 we had more applicants unlike before. The 21 pioneers for this program graduate today (April 28th, Graduation day). This year we have 23 major students. There is a big market for this program. Our graduands will have bigger chances of working with NGOs and international organisations like UNICEF, UNESCO, Care International, Family Voice, Oxfam, Save the children, World Vision, Social and Community Development Office and other organisations that promote gender and developmental issues.
They can also occupy such positions as: First Assistant Secretary Gender Development and Human Rights, Assistant Secretary Gender and Development, Program Coordinator Women Economic Empowerment, Program Coordinator Women in Leadership, Program Coordinator Gender Based Violence, Program coordinator Men against violence.
The program was introduced to meet the two main key pillars of the GoPNG Vision 2050 which promotes human capital development, gender, youth and people empowerment under effective leadership and good governance. This program also helps promote the second pillar which is spiritual, cultural and community development which enables citizen’s values and equal participation. I believe UOG is the only university in PNG offering Social Development and Gender Studies as a discipline of its own.
The distinguishing feature about this division is that it has highly seasoned school administrators and school inspectors who upgrade their qualification to take up much higher positions in the government and private sectors. This is the only division in the university that is offering postgraduate courses up to PhD levels. Currently we have three full-time research scholars pursuing for PhD studies. The division plans to offer four years Bachelor’s degree in Educational Leadership and Management and Diploma in Gender and Leadership Studies in the near future.
DIVISION OF LEARNING AND TEACHING
The Division of Learning and Teaching has evolved over the years. It was part of initial transfer of the UPNG Education Faculty to the Goroka Teachers College in 1997. Its name changed to reflect the core activities as reflected in its disciplines. It was named the Department of Educational Foundations as it was passionately known housed Educational Psychology, Guidance & Counselling, Special Education, and Educational Planning & Administration until 2012. A restructure of the disciplines (formerly strands) required the amalgamation and/or shifting of disciplines to reflect the focus and pooling of resources to meet the needs of stakeholders and clients. Hence, Department of Educational Foundations became the ‘Division of Learning & Teaching’ thereafter. The name of the division ‘Learning & Teaching’ spells out the priority of all its activities. We acknowledge that activities in the division first and foremost advance learning of both students and the staff as the latter engage in teaching activities.
Consequently, the Division today houses four disciplines: Teacher Education, Educational Psychology and two important stand-alone disciplines namely, Guidance and Counselling, and Early Childhood Education.
Educational Psychology and teacher education are inseparable in teacher training. The two disciplines offer courses that reflect the characteristics of the preparation of future teachers. Teaching Practice (TP) is the culmination of our teacher education program at the SoE.
As students reach the final year of their 4-year teacher education program here, they are sent throughout PNG for 6-weeks to experiences life in the schools and to teach classes. For many of our students, TP is rewarding as they begin to appreciate themselves as teachers of secondary and high schools. Despite competition from other institutions vying to train teachers, the University of Goroka through the SoE continues to maintain its uniqueness and program quality as the premier teacher education university of the Pacific.
Guidance & Counselling Discipline is gradually gaining momentum. The National Department of Education (NDoE) is advocating emotional wellbeing of students as they meet the 21st Century’s challenges of growing up in an ever-changing society. Our students over the past years have been absorbed in the various organisations and the need for counsellors have been overwhelming. It is the aim of the SoE through this discipline to ensure schools are equipped to meet the emotional needs of students and adults in this decade. A degree in Counselling is planned to be offered in the near future in order to meet international standards. This move will demonstrate our desire to address the shift of our times.
Early Childhood Education (ECE) is another of the stand-alone disciplines in the division. Arguably, ECE is THE flagship of the University of Goroka and one of the well-organised teacher education programs in the country! Since its inception, ECE has had far-reaching impact as it targets the foundation of formal education. Many of our students are now teaching in private institutions as well NDoE-registered schools. ECE receives an overwhelming number of applicants every year, which shows the interests of potential students. The laboratory school – Humilaveka Early Learning Centre – serves as a model school in early childhood education setting. Students are sent through the country to complete the practicum requirements in partner schools. We hope to expand the program to include a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education in the near future.
Finally, Division of Learning & Teaching courses portray qualified staff in the division. We are committed to learning and teaching activities in the disciplines as we continue to maintain the uniqueness of our teacher education programs.
DIVISION OF CURRICULUM STUDIES AND SPECIAL, INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
The Division of Curriculum Studies and Special, Inclusive Education is part of the School of Education. The division is made of two disciplines; Curriculum Studies and Special, Inclusive Education.
Curriculum Studies was part of then Department of Curriculum and Teaching, which was part of the Faculty of Education when the University of Goroka got its status as a fully-fledged university in 1997, twenty years ago. The discipline was then moved away from teacher education programs and merged with Special and Inclusive Education Discipline. The discipline has offered and continues to offer program to all levels of students, including Pre-service and In-service students undergraduates and Postgraduates students.
The Special, Inclusive Education has made important contributions over the years. It was initially part of then Department of Educational Foundations. It offered undergraduate programs to both pre-service and in-service students. One notable contribution it has made to the University of Goroka in the last couple of years was enrolling students with disabilities. As a result UOG was able to graduate four students with disabilities couple of years back (2 students with vision impairment (blind) and two with physical disabilities). Currently, the division enrolled six students with vision impairment. This makes the University of Goroka the only inclusive university in PNG.
Dr. James Aiwa
Dean - School of Education