MORE than 40,000 Grade 10 students, in 220 schools, will in October sit for 12 examination papers instead of the traditional four, The National reports.
The Department of Education measurement services division shocked teachers at an in-service week at the Busu Secondary School in Lae yesterday with the announcement that English, Maths, Science and Social Science, which for more than 50 years had been the only examinations, would now be joined by Personal Development, Business Studies, Agriculture, Arts, Design, Technology, Home Economics and Practical Skills.
Measurement services division director Greg Kapanombu said Grade 10 students would sit for the new subjects during their final examinations from Oct 5-15.
The Education Department also announced another first. It is implementing a new upper secondary curriculum starting with Grade 11 next year.
The new curriculum would have a total of 32 subjects, 23 more than the nine being currently taught.
New subjects include Legal Studies, Geology, Applied Science, IT, Tourism, Textile, Food Technology, Practical Skills Technology, Accounting, Business Studies, Agriculture, Forestry, Applied Natural Resource Management, Physical Education, Personal Development and Applied English.
Out of these, 16 will be examined, starting next year.
The Department of Education has decided to introduce more subjects to cater for the needs of industries and business which are currently on the upsurge in PNG.
Kapanombu said this was also in line with making students more knowledgeable and diversified so that they could be self-sustaining after leaving school.
Education officials said in making the decision, equal importance and status should also be given to all subjects taught at schools and “it is unfair that only the four traditional subjects of Maths, English, Science and Social Science are examined”.
They said although the four subjects could still form the core, “the world is a different place from what it used to be and people have become multi-talented and multi-skilled but, more importantly, the additional subjects would ensure students become more sustaining after leaving school”.
Kapanombu said PNG was part of the global village and “our students and people need to step outside the box and go the extra mile and embrace change”.
Some parents spoken to were incensed, saying this “is too much at very short notice”.
“My daughter goes to school in Wau and her teachers are hardly ever there. This is over the top and should have been announced last year or so to give our children time to adjust,” one dad said.
Another whose son attends Bugandi, and is top of his class, called it absurd. “I still feel the four core subjects are the basis of all the other subjects and this is killing.”