A living legend of a typical man

By Paul Minga

You don’t know how excited l was as a typical Papua New Guinean when unexpected news reached me that l would be travelling to Australia.

Such news when reached a typical man’s ears – it is indeed a heart throbbing news that sends a typical  into orbit in space or another planet as a joker would joke. I couldn’t believe the news that l was a first lucky winner for a Unilever draw and would be traveling to Sydney with other winners to watch – 1996 NRL Telstra Grand Final at the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS) live. 

That was indeed a heart throbbing news which sent me into orbit in space as a joker would put. That was what eventuated sometime in Sept, 1996 when l had an odd job in Port Moresby after quitting my studies at Popondetta Agricultural College.

The news of the draw announced soon after Unilever – an Australian company its soap and deodorant products promotion drive that ran for a period in August and September of 1996 start declaring  winners. Upon announcement of my name as a first lucky winner l was thrilled to hear such a wonderful and thrilling news. 

As a real typical PNGuinean after the breaking news. l question myself is it really true I’ll be going to Australia or it’s only a dream. But it was true as it was confirmed from the letter that I received from Mr Tim Walter – Unilever Port Moresby’s branch General Manager. While anticipating for departure time to arrive for the trip to the most talked about beautiful Australia or the land down under. 

I wished departure day should come soon so l could unleash all desires that l held on over the time including those of the community school days wish and desire of seeing the Aussie land. As a real typical Papua New Guinean the joy and mood l was in were of extreme high and at times it made my stomach refuses to take in something. 
 As days were counted down in a hope for departure day to arrive. l made sure l must not mis-calulate the departure day and miss the life time trip to the country that l longed to see since as a community school kid.  

Anyway, I was also proud that how it would be like to fly in a Boeing aircraft. Will it be the same as Fokker aircrafts or will there be any different feeling? There were many things l had in store as a typical man would do with more questions, queries and wonders. 

Finally departure day arrived, – after a meet at Unilever Port Moresby’s down town office at Cutbertson Building with Unilever GM -‘Walter. We proceeded to Jackson’s Airport for the departure. I was thrilled when Mr Walter handed over a Qantas plane ticket at the international departure terminal. Wow, a typical man would be flying the pride of Queensland and Northern Territory Air Services giant airplane (QANTAS) for the first time and this would be as a history and story to tell. 

This is what I thought to myself. Then the boarding call was made and we made our way out the departure lounge and boarded the Qantas Boeing 747 aircraft for Sydney.  

I was more than impressed after taking up my seat with my inner being as more joyful as l can’t wait to see the home state (Sydney) of the New South Wales Blues state of origin team. As the Qantas flight lowers for landing at Sydney Airport under airport night lighting  system at around 7:00 pm.  

A welcome message of the airport came into view through the aircraft window reads – Welcome to Sir Kingsford Smith lnternational Airport – Sydney. That airport welcome message has attracted my attention and l asked a fellow sitting near me if he had any idea of the name Sir Kingsford Smith. The fellow replied saying that Sir Kingsford Smith is a top Australian pilot who was named after Sydney Airport. That answers my query and l thought l had learnt something from this and was impressed with myself.  
However, from that breathtaking plane trip to Sydney. As a typical man l shared a moment in reflecting the abilities and cleverness of pilots who every time skillfully manouver or steer giant aircrafts into landing safely at busy and congested airport as Sydney. I congratulated the Captain and co -pilot in my mind for the safe flight and landing. This is something a typical person considers in his reasoning for things that are as fascinating and awesome.  

By the way, as the saying goes -: seeing is believing. During the brief visit to Sydney l was fortunate to have caught sight of the state harbor bridge, opera house and the Sydney tower.  

For pivileged Papua New Guineans who travelled overseas on job assignment, studies, business or for holidays. They consider their trip as normal and insignificant but for an unfortunate and typical man as me a single overseas trip becomes a living legend until l go to the graveyard.

Paul Minga

PNGDF Pilot Late Capt Peter Wanamp: Pride of the Tribe

Fwd: Graduation photo of PNGDF cadet pilots attending RAAF Flight School in Point Cook, Australia in 1988. Capt Ted Pakii flight instructor (far left) Chester Berobero, Major Kwadi (language instructor) Eric Aliawi, late Peter Ansphill. Seated – Terry Togumagoma and Paul Paulo Boga

By Paul Minga

Another PNG’s very best pilot late Capt – Peter Wanamp Ansphill (Capt Sheriff) was a flag bearer of the Jiwaka people and the pride of Senglap tribe. Peter was a first son from the Waghi Valley to brush aside fear and risk that is imminent for any aviator likely to encounter over the flying career.  

He was infact a brave intellect venturing into a profession that not as many students from our province (Jiwaka) dare taking up as those of the many students from other Highland provinces seen doing. He was indeed a God’s blessing to the Senglap tribe and Jiwaka as a whole. 

His break through as a first man to become pilot from the locality had led him into making a name for himself as another hero amongst the Jiwaka community. He broke the barrier in becoming a first and pioneer pilot for the three ethnic groups. That is Jimi, Waghi and Kambia – the three ethnic groups from which their first two letters derived to form the word Jiwaka.

However, it is as sad Peter’s parents were only subsistence farmers. Who were not so much busy and conscious of the importance and significance of their son’s education at the time in the 70’s and eighties as the case of most typical parents. Therefore they haven’t had much input in encouraging and giving Peter advice as what most educated parents these days are doing to their childrens future job prospect and in emphasising the value of education.  

But their son through his own determination, desire and passion he sets his objective on target and worked towards it and eventually had his dream fulfilled in becoming another PNGDF pilot in the late 80’s and served the PNGDF at the ATS.  

He was indeed another determined and brave person to have taken up a rare profession not many fellow Jiwakans dare taking up. But as more brilliant and intelligent are two appropriate adjective words to use for a person as him. As medical doctors and pilots are profession that students who are as more brilliant and intelligent in maths and science strands managed to make it through.  

According to one of his school mate Johnny – whom they both passed grade 6 exam at Kerowil Community School and went on to Minj High School together in the late seventies. Johnny gave an account that his mate was very brilliant in maths and that saw him came first in Grade 10 Maths National Examination and was awarded – the dux prize during the graduation.
With his brilliance and top academic excellence he was accepted for a engineering course at the University of Technology in Lae as a grade 10 direct entry student in the early eighties. 

However, Peter left university studies for pilot training after successfully passing his cadet pilot training entry test. Peter attended RAAF Point Cook Flight Training School in Sydney in the early 80’s together with other fellow PNGDF cadet pilots included Terry Togumagoma, Paul Paulo Boga, Eric Aliawi and Chester Berobero. 

While Peter was still attending flight school in Australia. At home news was circulating every time within our tribe community  that Peter Wanamp – as what most of us usually call him by that name is now flying the plane. 

News of Peter flying the plane was when l was doing grade one at Ambang Community School in 1982. I could still remember one time mum told me in our Jiwaka vernacular – ” Peter Wanamp na sukul ner balus ambral ner pum. Pi ner pore nim balus ambrim panim. It can be interpreted into English as “People are saying that, Peter Wanamp who went to study to become a pilot is now flying the plane.” 

When l heard this l was very pleased but at the same time was scared. I imagined of myself being right up at the tree top in taking view of the place below and the imagination of falling off from such a height. It’s indeed a scary sight and experience when l climbed right to the tree top. That is a typical thought l had when heard people saying that Peter was flying the plane.  

A year later when l was in grade two in 1983. l could still remember one time it was during class time at around 11 o’clock over the day. One of the class from our school that was having physical education lesson on that day. Its teacher and students came out in playing different sports on the field. The rest of the school as usual were having lessons in class including my class. 
 

All of a sudden a big noise shook the whole school was the engine of a PNGDF caribou aircraft flown by Peter. All the senior students that had fair idea of the camouflaged caribou aircraft calling out, Peter Wanamp! Peter Wanamp! 

Peter was flying really low over the gum tree tops. The engine noise of the caribou and the cheering students having sports outside made those of us inside wondering what the hell and fuss was all about. 

That instant most students and teachers were caught off guard in the fuss while others bump into each other in trying to make their way out to see what was going on. It was a hilarious melee as l could still recalled. Some students jumped over the desk in trying to make their exit first. Noise of the moving desk and tables could be heard in every classroom as everyone tried their best to get out to get a glimpse of the low flying caribou.  

When l managed to get myself out. I saw that Peter flew very low past our school in following the infamous Binz River upstream to Binzkhu – his sacred home and hunting ground. We all stood in awe as he turned back, avoiding Karaptoi peak as much as possible as he was no stranger to the place. 
He skillfully turned the caribou nose in the direction of his small Banz township for Kagamuga as we still gazed into the horizon of his route. Wow – what a sight for us both students and teachers that day. 

From that first sight, l confirmed that the story of Peter flying the army plane was true. Over the time, whenever Peter had job schedule of his trip to Mt Hagen Kagamuga Airport.  As soon as he sensed that he made it into Waghi Valley he would everytime lower the caribou very low in giving a signal that it is a boy from the valley. He did the same to his people from the valley when he flew the Fokker 28 jet aircraft.  

After working with the PNGDF for quite a long while. Peter left the PNGDF ATS wing and went to work with the Islands Nation Air for some time. From there he then moved on to Air Niugini as first officer on the F28 jet aircraft and made his way up to become captain of the same aircraft model.(F28)

After securing an overseas job contract Peter went and worked for an international airline company based in Thailand flying the Boeing aircraft.  When his job contract ended in Thailand, Peter came back and worked for Air Niugin once more. This time as Captain of the A380 Airbus for international routes until his passing in April, 2018. 

When the news of Peter’s passing circulated – it was infact a big blow to the Jiwaka people as there are not many Jiwakans taking up job career as pilots.  

Anyway, two notable highlight of late Peter’s achievement. He was at one time elected and served as President of PNG National Airline Pilot Association and appointed as Telikom Chairman during the late Sir Bill Skate term as Prime Minister after the 1997 General Election. The memory of the tribe’s pride and the man who bore the Jiwaka flag his legacy still lives on. Angam – you were once a forever sweet story  on our lips.

Peace and Harmony in my family

By Mary Eugenia

I was not yet born when the Bougainville conflict began in 1989. When the Panguna mine shut down, my dad who was working there came back to Buin and married my mother. Like the rest of the young men during that time, he joined the Bougainville Revolutionary Army. I am the first born in a family of five. I was born on 23 October 1991 at Turiboiru Health Centre in Buin. On my 25th birthday dad texted me and said happy birthday at around 6 am. I was surprised and happy because it was the first time he said that. When I replied and thanked him, he told me that he was working in the hospital on a night shift when he saw the time and the date. This reminded him of the time I was born. He told me that as soon as he witnessed my birth, he crossed over to Balalae Island in the Solomons on a BRA mission.

When the mission was completed, he celebrated my birth with the other soldiers on the boat at around 6 am. Many BRA soldiers used to cross the treacherous PNG and the Solomon Islands border despite enemy patrol boats. That was the only route to the outside world after the blockade.

In 1993, dad decided to go to school when I was just two years old. He foresaw that if the crisis ends and he is unemployed, his family would suffer. Making such a decision was very tough because he would be leaving his wife and kid on a war raging Island. But he had to make the sacrifice for our future. He made a house for us before he left. During that time, my mother was expecting my second born brother Louise. Dad later told us that he didn’t know if his second born child was a boy or a girl. He longed for months to hear the news. When it finally got to him, he was really overjoyed.

During holidays, he used to risk his life by travelling home just to see us; and life was hard for my mother because she was raising the two of us on her own. Soon after my third born sister Alberta was born in 1995 dad came and took us. We woke up one early morning and followed a bush track down to Kangu Beach where we met dad’s cousin. Uncle Robert was also travelling with his family. We stayed there for a few days. As soon as a cargo ship came, we all got on and went to Buka. We moved to Bei community school up in the mountains of small Buka where Uncle Robert was to teach. Dad left us there and went back to school. At that time, he was already in University of Papua New Guinea’s Medical Faculty. We stayed in Bei for a while and Uncle Robert looked after us as his own children. At that time he had two kids.

When my fourth brother Albert was born in 1997, we moved to Tekokni Primary School in Tinputz, to stay with mum’s elder sister who was a teacher there. The school employed mum as their typist. She took secretarial training at Arawa Technical School before the crisis so the job was not new to her. Life was good but the burden increased because our number increased to four. To reduce my mother’s burden, dad came and took Louise and I to Port Moresby. We stayed with him in the school’s married quarters. But there was no one to stay with us during the day. So dad used to lock us inside before he went for classes. Before he left, he used to give us strict orders not to open the door while he is away. But as soon as he is out of sight, Louise would somehow open the door and we would go outside. We would play with the other kids till afternoon. The food we usually ate was my dad’s ration from the mess. From the amount of food we get from the school mess nbowadays; it shows that he went without food most of the time because of us. In one occasion we went and stayed with some relatives but they didn’t treat us well so dad had to take us back. We used to sleep on thogbe floor in the living room. At night when we are asleep they would purposely sweep the floor, making us breathe dust.

Life was challenging. But we survived the hardships for one year and went home in 1998 when the cease fire was issued. When we were all settled, dad went back to school and finished his degree. He finally graduated in 2003 when my last born brother Liberius was four years old.

My three brothers are all grown ups now but with behavior problems. Sometimes they get drunk; destroy everything in the house and threaten our mother. Louise was put by dad in to prison twice for doping. He did that in the hope of disciplining him. In one occasion we visited him in prison; and as we were about to leave, dad shook hands with him. In that instant I saw the hurt in dad’s eyes which saddened me so much that I nearly cried so I had to look away. I couldn’t bear to see him behind bars because he was my favorite among the three. Therefore that was the only time I visited him.

Sometimes I wonder why my brothers are like that because we have everything. Many people blame my dad because he was not with us while we were growing up. But he sacrificed everything for us so that we would have a bright future. If he had not acted on impulse, we would be like the rest of the kids whose parents are jobless and are struggling with everyday life. I think it is just post crisis behavior which is observed in almost all kids born during the crisis and were surrounded by the conflict when growing up.

Dad regrets for not taking us out of Bougainville throughout the conflict but there is no turning back now. Sometimes I feel sorry for him when the boys disobey him; especially Louise. Occasionally I would hide and cry when I hear criticisms towards my brothers. My heart cries out for Louise every day, hoping that one day he’ll change and have a normal life.

As for me, I have not been the good daughter that my dad wanted me to be. I also have disobedience problems which might be different from my brothers, but can be put in the same category. Despite my dad’s advices I disobeyed him a lot of times and ended up getting married without completing school. He was so saddened when I did that because he believed in me and used to say that I am the first born and I need to lead the flock. If I do well in school, then my siblings wouldn’t hesitate to follow my footsteps. But I failed him and I was so saddened by what I did because I never wanted to hurt him also. He didn’t give up on me though.
After my son was born he took the responsibility to send me back to school. I must admit that everything that he predicted; most of which I thought were wrong; all came true and I feel ashamed sometimes; especially when he supports me in everything. He looks after my son, pays my school fees and sends pocket money every fortnight. He also pays for my plane tickets to travel home every semester break to see my son and husband during my second year of Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology in 2017. During that time, Louise has been upgrading his grade 12 marks, while Alberta has been a draftswoman working in an Ausaid company in Buin. Liberius has been doing his grade 11 at Hutjena Secondary School while Albert has been staying at home after discontinuing in grade 10. Despite the negative comments we get from outside, I still hope that one day everything will change because through God everything is possible. And I think the change is already dawning because dad said that the boys are doing fine.

Just recently we greeted him happy fifty first birthday and his only reply was, “I am already getting old so you guys better pull your socks up because before you know it, I might be gone”.

Many Bougainville youths are in similar situations even though they are the future leaders. True peace and harmony in Bougainville will not be achieved unless these youths are set straight. It is not easy, but through prayer and patience by each family it is possible. I have been presenting my petitions to God; hoping that someday, true peace and happiness with contentment will be tasted in my family. And I hope that this happens before our parents move on to the next life; because we haven’t been showing them the appreciation they deserve.

We are one by blood

By JOSEPH TAMBURE – posted on PNG Attitude blog

I’m black, I’m white
We’re one by blood 
Nothing separates how hard we try
I’ve same blood group as you
So we’re one forever
Dialects, circumstances, boundaries,
Standards, status don’t matter here
Born same, die same, no difference
And we are one forever

See same sun; walk same earth
Breathe same air; sleep same sleep
So we are one by blood
Both feel pain, shed tears, lived life
Through life’s blessings and curses
But still one by blood

Creator said, “Let’s make man in our image”
So He created both
With different pigments of his choice
Our Father is half black, half white
That’s why we’re one by blood
And when end comes to its end 
And we pass to another realm
We’ll be one
One by blood since creation

https://www.pngattitude.com/2021/11/we-are-one-by-blood.html

Preserving Papua New Guinea’s 850 Languages

By Noah Sheidlower – Borgen Magazine

TACOMA, Washington — Papua New Guinea is considered the most linguistically diverse place on the planet with around 850 different languages spoken throughout the country. While English is understood by most of the population, the country has two other official languages. One language is Tok Pisin, a Creole language based on English, the other is Hiri Motu, a pidgin variety of the Austronesian language Motu.

Linguistic Diversity and Poverty

The success of Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu has threatened Papua New Guinea’s linguistic diversity as more indigenous languages risk extinction when younger populations do not learn to speak them. Considered one of the poorest countries in the Pacific, Papua New Guinea faces high rural poverty, run-down health care systems and a slow economy. In Papua New Guinea, 37.5% of the population live below the poverty line, and from this statistic, 21.8% live on less than $1.90 per day.

To escape poverty, younger populations have had to learn the country’s national languages, often in place of indigenous languages, and particularly when there is little investment in schools or universal literacy. Language politics has exacerbated poverty in the country for centuries, yet efforts are now being taken to address the significance of language in both cultural preservation and poverty eradication.

Papua New Guinea’s Linguistic Diversity

The country’s oldest group of languages, the Papuan languages, were first introduced more than 40,000 years ago. Due to the country’s topography, from mountains to swamps to jungles, many of these indigenous languages still survive along with many Austronesian languages that arrived 3,500 years ago. Many of these languages have changed over time through language contact and phonetic and lexical changes. Over thousands of years, many of these original languages have since broken into multiple variations. As a result of tribal divisions, different cultural groups took pride in their languages and cultural practices.

With the arrival of European colonists in the 19th century, English became widely spoken as well as the two other official languages. Tok Pisin arose when plantation workers in the Pacific began developing a pidgin that drew heavily from English but also took linguistic features from German, Malay, Portuguese and Austronesian languages like Tolai. Tok Pisin gained popularity over the last two decades since it is easily accessible to less-educated residents. Today about four million people speak it in Papua New Guinea. However, with the growing popularity of Tok Pisin other indigenous languages are struggling to stay alive. According to The Economist, a dozen languages have already gone extinct due to Tok Pisin’s growth.

Since Papua New Guinea only gained independence from Australia in 1975, English also remains a great threat to other indigenous languages as most higher educational and professional opportunities in the country require English proficiency. The late linguist Angela M. Gilliam wrote that “what is presumed to be academic potential actually represents the degree of cultural Australianization in this neo-colonial society.” Those in the rural labor force who speak regional languages have little access to elite communication power, and thus, feel like foreigners in their own country. They lack participation in national or economic power. Hence, the power of English in government and the national elite has led to class struggle and the ultimate abandonment of indigenous languages.

Documenting and Preserving Papua New Guinea’s Indigenous Languages

Surprisingly, tribal conflicts and divisions have helped retain many of these languages as their speakers have tried to uphold cultural values to distinguish themselves from neighbors. But, given Papua New Guinea’s history of language politics, linguists and community members have been documenting and preserving the country’s lesser-known languages to retain cultural diversity and attempt to eradicate poverty among rural populations. They are making efforts to preserve endangered languages such as Arawum, which only has 60 speakers, and Karawa, with only 63 speakers.

Linguists Arden and Joy Sanders have led language documentation efforts in East Sepik province to preserve Kamasau. While living in the village of Tring, they learned the Kamasau language but also spoke Tok Pisin, which was used in government meetings and church services. When a two-year pre-school was set up in the Kamasau language, nearly all who attended went on to further education, as opposed to the previous rate of only one in 30 students. With such linguistic complexity, Kamasau allows people to talk about the diverse types of flora and fauna in the area and also prepare them for better job opportunities. A proposed school in the area would teach Kamasau for the first two years and then transition to English afterward. This helped students to learn about their culture while also gaining more marketable skills.

Using Technology to Preserve Papua New Guinea’s Indigenous Languages

In 2009, National Geographic’s Enduring Voices team led an expedition to Papua New Guinea to record interviews with speakers of 11 of the country’s endangered languages. The project attempted to assess the current state of vitality and endangerment of these languages. It discussed with local activists about language revitalization and raise awareness of Papua New Guinea’s linguistic diversity. Following these interviews, the team identified the communities of Yokoim and Matugar as places to assist in language revitalization through dictionaries, grammatical materials and new technology.

These two communities and others across the country have used online technology like talking dictionaries to preserve endangered languages and centuries of culture. These talking dictionaries may lead younger generations to accept their language as pertinent to the modern world, making them more inclined to learn it and apply it to employment opportunities. In the case of Matugar, one of its representatives, Rudolf Raward, published the first book in the language. The book incorporates aspects of photography and videography, digital storytelling and desktop publishing.

Technology has also been essential in preserving recently deceased languages like Arapesh, which was originally spoken by 25,000 people but died out due to the emergence of Tok Pisin. Using a digital archive of transcribed audio recordings and a lexicon, linguists have tried to revive Arapesh and help indigenous populations learn about their history.

Looking Ahead

Preserving Papua New Guinea’s 850 languages is essential in eradicating rural poverty, empowering indigenous voices and maintaining cultural and linguistic diversity. The country is receiving international and national support in preserving its endangered languages, but there is still much to do to revive recently deceased languages and ensure younger generations can speak their indigenous languages. However, recent online technology efforts like the talking dictionaries inspire hope that the youth will be able to take on the task of preserving Papua New Guinea’s many and richly diverse languages.

PNG languages dying with each generation

Languages in Papua New Guinea are being lost and may only survive during ceremonies like this Goroka one. (Credit: Getty)

By AAP and AG staff 

Indigenous PNG languages are dying with each generation, and may only survive in ceremonies, experts say.

WHO WILL SPEAK INIAI in 2050? Or Faiwol? Moskona? Wahgi? Probably no one, as the languages of New Guinea – the world’s greatest linguistic reservoir – are disappearing in a tide of indifference.

Yoseph Wally, an anthropologist at Cendrawasih University in Jayapura in Papua keeps his ears open when he visits villages to hear what language the locals are speaking.

“It’s Indonesian more and more. Only the oldest people still speak in the local dialect,” he said. In some villages he visits, not a single person can understand a word of the traditional language.

“Certain languages disappeared very quickly, like Muris, which was spoken in an area near here until about 15 years ago,” he said.

1000 languages

New Guinea is home to more than 1000 languages – around 800 in Papua New Guinea and 200 in Indonesian Papua – but most have fewer than 1000 speakers, often centred around a village or cluster of hamlets. Some 80 per cent of New Guinea’s people live in rural areas and many tribes, especially in the isolated mountains, have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world.

The most widely-spoken language is Enga, with around 200,000 speakers in the highlands of central PNG, followed by Melpa and Huli.

“Every time someone dies, a little part of the language dies too because only the oldest people still use it,” said Nico, the curator of Cendrawasih University’s museum. “In towns but also eventually in the forest, Indonesian has become the main language for people under 40. Traditional languages are reserved for celebrations and festivals,” said Habel M Suwae, the regent of Jayapura district.

In PNG, under the influence of nearby Australia, English has spread, though it has been unable to penetrate some tribes, particularly those in the isolated highlands.

The authorities are sometimes accused of inaction or even favouring the official language to better integrate the population, particularly in Indonesian Papua.

Saving a culture

But according to Hari Untoro Dradjat, an adviser to the Indonesian ministry of culture, no matter what measures are taken to promote traditional languages in schools, “it is almost impossible to preserve a language if it is no longer spoken in everyday life”.

Despite his pessimism about the future, anthropologist Yoseph believes art and culture can stop Papuan languages being forgotten.

Papuans love to sing and celebrate and they must do these things in their traditional languages, Yoseph says – this way young people “will want to discover the language to understand the meaning of the songs”.

Instead of saving languages on the way to extinction, some researchers want to preserve a record of them – a difficult task when many are exclusively oral. Oxford University, for example, has launched a race against the clock to record Emma, aged 85, Enos, 60, and Anna, also 60, who are the three last remaining Papuans who speak Dusner.

More than 200 languages have become extinct around the world over the last three generations and 2500 others are under threat, according to a UNESCO list of endangered languages, out of a total of 6000.

Digital literacy in 21st century education

By BETTY GABRIEL WAKIA
IN THE digital age of the 21st century, the development of technology has greatly changed the global economic situation and the structure of the labour force.
A large number of daily works have gradually been replaced by machines, and the basic reading and writing ability has been unable to meet the needs of economic development and employment.
To meet these challenges, it needs to develop the educational structure to teach new skills, qualities, and digital literacy by using 21st century learning methods and principles. It is not enough for students to learn traditional core subjects. They should not only master the traditional literacy skills but also master high-level thinking skills, learn to use multi-disciplinary knowledge and high-order thinking ability to solve problems and create new ideas, new products and new services to become adaptable in their working environment.
In the UK and elsewhere when the social and economic changes, it contributes intense competition for jobs and places at top universities. When new recruits arrive ill-equipped, some tutors and employers complain that students must have been spoon-fed material at school or college. In order to keep up with the 21st century digital age, developing countries like PNG should step up by incorporating the digital literacy across the school curriculum to prepare students for the future.
For today’s students, a curriculum that includes cursive writing and penmanship has all disappeared. Today, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, emails and social media reign supreme. While these devices have brought a tremendous amount of value to schools and learners of every age, the digital world is one with its own set of rules and risks.
For students to get the most out of technology and the benefits it offers, they need to know how to use it to process, deliver and receive digital information most effectively. Digital Literacy for today’s students is crucial.
In education, the main goal of today is to prepare students for work and social life which has become one of the biggest challenges we face in this century. Learning for work and life means to learn to apply 21st century skills by helping as many children as possible, which means a deep understanding of the core themes of the challenges of modern era.
The skills of the “21st century: learning for the Age We Live” provides us with a framework for learning in the 21st century, and presents the skills necessary to live in this complex not only traditional education subjects such as arithmetic, writing and reading but also the theme of modern society, such as globalization awareness, health, financial or economic and environment production. In other words, schools in the 21st century should teach students to use 21st century skills to understand and solve real world challenges.
The 21st century learning framework has been adopted by thousands of educators nationwide and around the world, and is a powerful solution that combines learning, work, life and people’s needs. The framework highlights knowledge itself, specific skills, experience, and literacy and provides a broad definition of university and career preparation. In the UK and abroad, the 21st century learning framework of schools and communities provides a successful model of curriculum, teaching methods, career development, teaching assessment, and learning environment, which brings very positive results to students’ learning.
The world’s first global standard for digital literacy was announced at Dubai’s Global Education and Skills Forum for the first time last year. This is outlined in the DQ Global Standards Report 2019, which establishes a framework for digital literacy, skills and preparation. The framework aims to build a global digital intelligence framework called DQ which includes common definitions of digital literacy, skills, readiness, language, and understanding.
The implementation of the 21st century learning strategy requires student understanding of core academic development. In the context of core academic teaching, students need to acquire the basic skills such as 4C: Critical thinking, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration to succeed in today’s world. Based on this, the school prepares for learning, work and life by combining the necessary support system standards, education, courses, assessments, learning environment and professional development. At the same time, educators experience interdisciplinary collaboration and mutual support.
To be able to prepare students for future work and life, new educational methods are needed to help promote individual learning, improve and develop students’ abilities. New learning methods require not only results from what is known and what can be done, but also different directions for teaching in the classroom. This direction is described as a combination of complex thinking, feelings, perceptions, and behaviors. In order to support this learning philosophy, a direct, clear and comprehensive strategy is needed to enable students to learn in the 21st century learning environment. This strategy must not reduce the focus on core academic knowledge. It must learn the skills of the 21st century in a professional field so that students can learn and apply their knowledge outside the school.
In order to help students cope with the future challenges, business and education leaders and stakeholders as decision makers can work together to ensure that education in the 21st century had to used flexible skills by teaching and advocating the development of student’s flexible skills to help them better adopt to the ever-changing world. In this way, when students step out of the campus and step into the society, they are more likely to be flexible, achieve greater achievements and make more contributions. By achieving that in the developing countries like PNG, our education system needs to find solutions to ensure the creativity and innovation of children in teaching on and off campus to ensure that they are well-prepared to successfully enter university, career and social life.
Digital literacy is at the heart of 21st century skills and it should incorporate into curriculum design. Learners in the 21st century need to learn far beyond the 3R curriculum and need to master the 21st century skills with 4C. In order to meet the opportunities and challenges brought by digital technology, countries have adjusted their education policies and promoted the digital transformation of education in all aspects. One of those policies is to incorporate digital literacy training into the curriculum system of primary and secondary schools. Digital literacy is seen as the ability to use digital resources and participate effectively in social processes in a new technology environment. The cultivation of digital literacy has gradually been incorporated into the curriculum system of basic education.
In the UK, the Digital Technology Industry Association BIMA called on the government to incorporate digital literacy throughout the curriculum. BIMA found that more than a third of students thought they did not get the digital learning they needed. Computer learning courses cover only limited areas of digital skills, such as coding. BIMA warns that limiting digital education to the computer room is a blinking approach that will damage the economy in the long run.
In the United States, the curriculum reform for 2030 is an academic discussion and local practice. There is no national wave of reform, but Finland promotes and implements the curriculum reform for 2030 at the national level. In 2012, the Finnish government’s “Predict 2030” report presented an ambitious educational goal: by 2030, Finland will have the best education system in the world. In the same year, the Finnish National Board of Education initiated the development of a draft pre-school and basic education curriculum. In August 2016, the design of the new national core curriculum was completed and begins to implement new curriculum reforms across the country.
Every 10 years, Finland will conduct curriculum reforms under the guidance of the national board of education. The Finnish National Board of Education pointed out that the world in which the schools are located is complex and interconnected, rapid and unstable, and increasingly digital. Therefore, the education system needs to conduct a comprehensive self-analysis, and the “2030 Barometer” collects multiple perspectives. With the support of the “2030 Barometer”, the new curriculum is geared towards 2030, based on an analysis of the capabilities that children and young people need in their learning, everyday life and workplace in the near future.
The 21st century skills movement redefines the goal of Finnish education and reorganizes learning to meet the needs of Finnish students to participate in the 21st century knowledge society. The new curriculum reform in Finland focuses on 21st century skills. The new curriculum is divided into seven competency areas based on 21st century skills. These capabilities constitute knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. The new curriculum emphasizes the need for each discipline to promote horizontal capabilities, clarifying the specific competency goals, teaching content, teaching methods and evolution methods of different grades.
In order to achieve the development goals of Education 2030, Japan is implementing the basic goal of curriculum reform with the core of “three elements of learning”, the knowledge (what is mastered), (how the knowledge is used), and personality (how to get along in society and related cognition). It clarify the basic direction of the basic education curriculum reform in Japan, taking into account the three-dimensional orientation, comprehensive integration, and effective curriculum design.
In the developing countries like PNG, we believe that there is still much room for improvement in current education system. By incorporating digital literacy into the curriculum design will enable students to prepare for the future jobs that are not yet exist.
Education reform in PNG has been going on but whether the current curriculum and teaching materials can adapt to the requirements of PNG education for 2030 is still a question. Although we cannot accurately predict the world after 2030, we have a responsibility to help students prepare as much as possible.

Pandemic impacts global education

By BETTY GABRIEL WAKIA
SINCE its outbreak nearly 1.5 billion students worldwide from pre-school to higher education have been affected by the pandemic.
The new coronavirus has caused the most serious damage to the education system in history, affecting more than 190 countries, according to the “Covid-19 and Subsequent Education Policy Briefing” published by the United Nations on Aug 4, 2020.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) said: “We have never seen education face such a massive disruption”.
Billions of students are unable to attend schools or universities due to the temporary closure of educational institutions by governments around the world.
According to the report, 94 per cent of students worldwide are affected by the closure of schools and educational institutions. In low and middle income countries, this percentage reaches as high as 99 per cent.
With the development of the internet, online education has become an important educational method. This led schools to embrace online courses to schools around the world and students are trying to learn online in a variety of ways. However, the difficulty part is that not all students have access to tablets, computers or reliable internet. According to data from the United Nations Internet and Telecommunications Bureau, about 54 per cent of the world’s population of 4.1 billion people use the internet, but only one-fifth of the least developed countries are on internet.
In view of the increasing attention to the current Covid-19 pandemic, more and more universities around the world have cancelled or postponed all campus activities such as seminars, sport, conferences, workshops and other events. Faculty members are already in the process of transiting to online teaching platforms. Recently, there has been growing interest on the impact of Covid-19 on the education system around the world and has been extensively studied in the last few months since the Covid-19 started. Recent concerns about impact of Covid-19 have generated a considerable body of research and have identified criticisms of how education technology re-defines and reduces the concept of teaching and learning.
Not many studies have investigated the impact of Covid-19 which leads to new challenges on online education that forces schools around the world to take up online classes. Several studies have shown that the schools around the globe are experimenting and designing activity plans for online teaching and learning. Few studies also challenge with the story that claims “education is broken”, and it needs to be fixed with technology. These technologies often considered neutral and are closely linked to education and impose increasing social problems for education to resolve.
Therefore, this is a critical moment to reflect how the current options of educational institutions are affecting the education and online learning during this pandemic crisis. We can already see that the crisis caused by the epidemic is affecting education in the form of new emergency measures. Digital education platforms also likely to be acquired and implemented more by monitoring and participating in educational management to keep institutions functioning in the event of a crisis. Within the framework of the worldview of capitalism and the effective understanding of education such technologies have already emerged as a solution.
But the question is, will post-Covid-19 education be shaped and designed critically for reflective and holistic learning by visions of public good or will it be influenced by company interests in new markets?
A recent survey has shown that distance learning has accelerated during the crisis in the TVET sector, much like in general schooling and universities. The majority of respondents in 68 countries out of 126 report providing training courses fully remotely during the pandemic, whereas only 13 used to provide online distance learning regularly or often prior to Covid-19 outbreak. Few attempts have been made to the online education. However, these studies have not addressed the issue of the coronavirus impacting the global education which is putting online distance learning in a new challenge.

Vivienne Dangiaba, Marcia Donnelly and Mecklyn Jugari, second year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students of the University of PNG who were struggling to do their practical at the laboratory beginning of 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unprecedented momentum in online learning
During the Covid-19 pandemic, educational institutions worked hard to find ways to enable students to continue learning in the face of crisis and social barriers. This gives unprecedented momentum to online learning. The suspension of classes due to the coronavirus pandemic has caused the entire community to concern about the students’ future and the learning disabilities. The school has been suspended due to a pandemic and most international immigrant students typically take major international exams in many countries including International Baccalaureate, National School-lever exams and the recently suspended International A-level.
A community of civil society organisations, educational professionals and civil servants used digital technology for distance education to response to the school closures sooner than expected.
Online learning has become a global hot topic in the midst of Covid-19, and countries around the world have decided to tackle new challenges. With the evolution of the epidemic and the turmoil of regular education, all major foreign universities and colleges have also launched online learning tools for students stuck at homes around the world. This pandemic crisis is accelerating online learning and conducting distance learning and teaching experiments on a global scale.
According to Mbonyinshuti (2020), the launch of satellites in the rural communities of Rwanda has enabled the use of internet to secure online learning. While in Uganda, the launched of e-learning platform at Christian University has begun by offering student courses and notes online to help students complete their semesters. The Academic office is committed to use online, e-learning and e-resources to ensure remote assistance for classes that have not yet completed the semester syllabus. The Universities and Colleges also will establish online consultation channels to enable teachers and students to build internet with the learners. The student’s exams will be uploaded by the institution’s lectures on e-learning platform.
Students began to switch to online learning when schools at all stages in China began online education and it has suddenly become a national hot topic. During the school season, many teachers turned into “anchors” and thought online for the 2020 spring semester, the Chinese Ministry of Education has demanded the platform “suspend classes without stopping”. However, students with different learning needs have different levels of achieving online learning goals through new forms of online courses is the first “exam question” for students and teachers.
In South Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, the dissemination of coronavirus containment measures at universities may not be suitable for distance learning or online learning when returning home without using the internet during the campus lockdown. Remote areas in these countries lack adequate facilities and internet services, impeding classroom continuity. However, it is difficult for students to study online in India due to the expensive internet connection and lack of internet in rural areas. Students also report that their families are overcrowded, distracted and unable to study online.
The South African Institute of Distance Education (SAIDE) meets with universities to help students explore the various features of the facility and the equipment that students may use and access the institution’s “various tools” available online for learning.
All universities in Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island countries need to carry out this assessment. According to Smah (2020), the Tunisia government proposed an online class but the student union has completely rejected it and called for a boycott online education platform.
In many African countries, this raises questions about the feasibility of choosing online education. The Union of General students of Tunisia (UGET) stated in a statement on March 22, 2020 that the Higher Educational Research Department will open universities and other educational courses through online learning; the proposal violates the principles of equality and equal opportunity. Not all students have personal tablets, laptops, computers or reliable internet access.
According to a 2017 report by the US Congress, the United States had 12 million school-age children without broadband access. It is estimated that half of the students in the Los Angeles school district do not use tablets or computers and a quarter of students cannot access the internet at home. In China, most of the world’s luxurious and affordable smartphones are made in China, but many parents cannot afford to buy multiple devices for their children and themselves. The country is dealing with 4G services, but the signal is very low in some rural areas.
As creativity becomes an essential skill, the world moves towards the advancement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), providing avenues for university lectures and students. However, most universities lack the latest ICT facilities to support the growing number of students in their schools and e-learning opportunities are not being used effectively in universities in developing countries.
This allows many users to use handheld devices to display content and universities have adjusted their ratings and plan delivery policies to submit assignments in advance, especially on the submission date and mobile friendly websites.
The current experiments of university education indicate that four years of face-to-face can no longer relies on past credits. At the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, teachers and students are encouraged to continue face-to-face educational and research activities, including contacting student’s supervisions by email. Face-to-face education is very important but with current distance learning, it is absolutely necessary for the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, designing an activity plan for teachers and students and closing the school in a remote location is quite different from planning a face-to-face school activity.
Stable internet critical
During Covid-19, most online education relies heavily on stable internet. Currently, educators and students cannot easily move from one place to another to connect to the internet. In order to provide better internet services, people are hoping that the government should cooperate quickly with internet providers and other telecommunications companies. But there are still some problems, including the inability to effectively schedule all courses online that cannot meet all educational needs.
The final choice made by the student focuses on non-academic courses that colleges and universities can view on radio and television, helping students learn moral values, life and specific skills languages and more.
Today, very little is known about the Covid-19 effects on the higher education industry. The issue of the Covid-19 and its impact on the higher education industry is a growing topic of discussion worldwide. Closing universities and cancelling classes have become a Covid-19 reality in many parts of the country, leading to enormous anxiety and uncertainly.
At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis has revealed the severe inequality and inequity that exists in higher education worldwide. Covid-19 may be a temporary crisis, but it should serve as a wake-up call for higher education institutions in PNG to change their transfer channels and access rights by ensuring a flexible education delivery model that serves a diverse group of learners.

An hour by the Kepesia  Rocky Beach

By Alphonse M Huvi

Turubu, East Sepik Province – actnowpng.org
I see the sea shore washed away like the bulldozer clearing the land
I watched in agony as the treasured trees nearby were washed away like logging taking place
Like a marbles clanging against each other, the pebbles rejoiced over the splashing salt water
Sea waves rushing towards the land like nobody’s business
Where have all the herons gone? 
Where were the eagles that flew high in the sky like the aeroplanes? 
Where are the sea weeds that were nutritious?

My face is sunbathed by the salt spray like lotion applied to my Amazon forest skin
My eyes looked longingly to the horizon like a compass searching for a lost ship
I am engrossed with the cool breeze surfing through my body like cleansing water
Where was the beautiful tallis shady tree that once stood here?
Where was that bent pandanus tree that had leaves hanging like ropes towards the sea?
Where was the magnificent coconut tree that I once quenched my thirst from its coconut juice? 

I caught sight of the brownish bush near the beach that looked like burnt forest
The naked trees standing barren without leaves like shameless beings
The natural surrounding becoming more transparent like a mirror 
Where was this once greenish beautiful environment?
Where are those pebbles like marbles of all shapes?
Where in the world are we heading to?   


Two poems from Telly Orekavala

Too much freedom stings

Freedom is a human need
It gives us our rights
The right to live
Freedom of speech
Freedom of Association
Freedom of movement
But also the right to abuse it
Too much freedom stings
Man talk about it
Man sing about it
Man dream about it
When freedom is deprived
People cry for it
People fight for it
People die for it
When freedom reigns
Too much freedom stings
There is stealing, killing, raping
Burb wires and security guards
Misuse of public funds
Abuse of mandated powers
Leaders above the law
Common people subject to it
Corruption at its worst
Prevalence of “No care attitude”
People live for today
They live in fear
For the tribal fighting
For sorcery related killing
For armed hold ups
Mothers and girls are not safe
They live in abusive environment
Rebels and murderers walk free
Life is compensated with money
It is bought and sold
Where is freedom we all love?
We sing of it 
How long, how long
We dream of it
Not long, not long
We cry for it
How long, how long
We even die for it
Where is freedom we all love 
Abused and being abused
Bullied and being bullied
Too much freedom stings
Where is the freedom our fathers fought for?
Abuse of freedom is the root of them all
Prime minister give us the freedom we need.
Governor give us the freedom we long for.
Honourable member give us the freedom we deserve.
Too much freedom stings

Cry My Beloved Country

Born on September 16 1975
Grew up un-noticed
Months and years transforming into a woman
A virgin beautiful virgin
Crowned with plumes of paradise
Blooming hibiscus in the black oasis of hair
Attired in grass skirt and necklace of tabu
Adorned with frangipani flowers
Equipped with stone axe and digging stick
Armed with spear, bow and arrows
Swine is your companion, your wealth, your status
If not your protein
In your dark colour, at your flower age
Your eyes sparkle
Like the pearl in the Pacific Ocean
So beautiful, so gorgeous
Like the feathers you’re wearing
You stick out among the stars of the Pacific
Dotted red, black and gold
In the vast, vast blue sky
The Pacific Ocean
As you dance and sway
To the garamut and the kundu
Flavoured with bamboo band and ukulele
The Pacific beat, the Pacific style, the Pacific way
Your body glitters not from sweat
But from the coconut oil
The fragrances of herbal ornaments
Steals the air and scatters
The world over
You lure the white man
You attract the orange man
You entice the black man
Their hearts are stolen
To be admired, a virgin you were
Till you tied the knot
The knot of “Look North Policy”
With the orange man
T’was love at first at sight
Without knowing what the future held for you
Since then, you’ve lost your virginity
Cry my beloved country
Your sisters in Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia
Are watching, giggling and sad
Because you’re no longer a virgin you used to be
You know all men, all men know you
They’ve exploited you, they’ve used you
You’re adorned with Somares
But they’ll be blown away
They’ll run dry
Cry my beloved country

A flood gate of aliens
Door flung open asunder
Foreigners they suck out of you
Milk, breast milk for your son, your daughter