August 13, 2019

PNG SDP funds e-learning in Western Province

PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited (SDP) in partnership with Digicel Limited, Save the Children and Inclusiv Ventures have launched a proof-of-concept e-learning project in Western Province.

This initiative is testing an exciting innovation aimed at improving student numeracy and literacy by using the latest 4G telecommunications and internet technology to support the existing education system.

“By using modern technology to support teachers and students in primary schools in Western Province, it is our hope this initiative will help transform education in PNG,” said Esther Sibona, SDP’s Director of Communications.

The concept is targeting 9000 students in 38 schools spread across the Province. 15,000 tablets with access to app-based reading and maths software specially aligned to the PNG curriculum will be used for supplementary classroom activities which will enrich normal lessons.

This in-school use of the software will be complemented by giving parents access to the same software at home, so they can observe and support their children using technology to become more involved with their schooling.

38 schools and communities will participate in this trial project, with over 200 teachers to be trained on using software in the classroom to set tasks and monitor student performance.

“Education is one of our key development pillars. We want to ensure that the people of Western province in this generation and future generations, are properly educated,” said Western Provincial Administrator, Robert Kaiyun.

Mr. Kaiyun said that with the current changes in technology, the e-learning project is an opportunity for students enrolled in remote primary schools in Western province to have access to better education.

“This arrangement complements our efforts in terms of putting facilities in the remote areas. Having the e-learning initiative in place also cuts down on our costs.”

“We continue to acknowledge SDP’s initiatives like this to bring education closer to our people.

We are again excited with another intervention by SDP to lift the standard of education in Western province,” said Mr. Kaiyun.

Jennifer El-Sibai, Save the Children’s Pacific Regional Director said: “Children learn best when they have access to positive, fun-filled learning materials that they can engage with every day. Schools across PNG, especially in remote and rural locations like those in Western province face huge challenges accessing basic materials, let alone having thousands of reading books available for students. Technology can change that.”

The technology will allow live tracking of student use of the software, and progress in terms of improved student literacy and numeracy will be monitored using rigorous reading and maths assessments.

The proof of concept period ends later this year and is expected to provide vital information needed to justify more investment in e-learning so it can be successfully adopted throughout the province on an ongoing basis.

20 schools, including Rumginae Primary School have already started using the tablets. 3700 tablets will be distributed to Balimo over the coming weeks, following the completion of the teacher training in Middle Fly on how to effectively use these tablets.

“Digicel, through this partnership with SDP and others believe that e-learning is the pathway to continue to develop the nation,” said Colin Stone CEO Digicel PNG.
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