The Balimo Schools project is the latest partnership initiative by international development NGO, Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF) and the PNG Sustainable Development Program (SDP), with support from the Western Province Division of Education and Western Sydney University.
This initiative aims to improve teaching, learning and access to schooling for children across the Balimo catchment area, by focusing on three critical parts of high-quality education – teacher training, targeted coaching, and improved resourcing for the schools (including the introduction of classroom TV’s and digitised content. This holistic support will improve the quality of teaching and student learning in remote classrooms.
The professional development workshops are focussed on adapting teacher’s skills and knowledge towards child-centred and constructive learning for PNG’s youngest learners. Teachers will build their skills in their chosen area of early childhood education or junior primary practices, including teaching skills and strategies, early childhood science, literacy, reading & writing and mathematics.
Teachers also receive a suite of educational resources tailored to their classrooms, including books from project partners’ Bilum Books, author Dr Jennie Bickmore-Brand, Oxford University Press books, PNG curriculum materials, and books about literature and culture by Melanesian and Pacific studies expert, Professor Steven Winduo.
Post-workshops, coaches and the teachers will continue to work together on weekly mentoring visits to put their learnings into action, continuing a program that started late last year.