Stepping up advocacy on education

In November, 2015, I took over as Board Chairman of Papua New Guinea Education Advocacy Network (PEAN). I made certain critical remarks about the current education reforms in Papua New Guinea (PNG). I wish to expand those thoughts so that PEAN advocacy plans 2016 to 2030 can be developed in the framework of facts and prevailing circumstances in national, regional and global education and general human development.

I have undertaken personal research into Outcome Based Education (OBE) from 2004 when I was told in Canberra that Australia was going to impose OBE on PNG. I traced OBE back to 1660s when Luciferians began their assaults on Christian Education Systems in Europe. Men like St. John Baptist De La Salle made attempts to oppose the Luciferians and their legacy has come down to us in PNG.

However, Luciferians’ assaults continued through Humanist Manifesto I in 1830s. In 1837, Horace Mann changed the course of education when for the first time in history he sponsored legislation to remove control over education from families and churches to the civil states. Following Horace Mann’s lead, John Dewey through his new ‘Progressive Education’ changed the purpose of education completely from academic and intellectual development of children to a political purpose supported by Lev Vygotsky’s theories of first and second language acquisition for producing Marxists from generation to generation. Gramsci’s Blueprints, Bloom’s Mastery Learning and Taxonomy of Educational Objectives and B.F. Skinner’s Behavioural Engineering were put into a structural framework by William Spady, a sociologist who followed Horace Mann in his anti-intellectualism and produced OBE. They all had one purpose in education: to destroy and replace existing education systems and introduce education reforms for control of human beings.

When I speak or write critically about education reforms in PNG, I do so from this background of ten (10) years of studying OBE reforms in several countries, beginning with the United States. During President Ronald Reagan’s tenure as President, OBE was imposed on the US in 1980 and its destructive effects on education in that country forced OBE proponents to create twenty names of OBE to cover up its failures. One of the names is Standard Based Education (SBE). In 1993 it was established that 90 million Americans were functionally illiterate. Australia adopted Spady’s theories for the same purposes as Mann and Dewey and imposed OBE in Australia. In 2006, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, criticised the reforms and called OBE ‘gobbledegook’. Under AusAid funding OBE was imposed by Australia on PNG. The rest is history.

I consider it as a special personal privilege to be working with PEAN in PNG where I can personally contribute and assist PEAN in its education advocacy plans and strategies as integral part of the global advocacy on “Education for All.” PEAN as a national umbrella Civil Society Organization (CSO) in PNG and a partner in Regional and Global Advocacy Networks, will advocate that present and future governments in PNG must allocate 20% of the national budget for Integral Human Development consistent with Pillar 1 of Vision 2050 (Human Capital Development, Gender, Youth and People Empowerment) beginning with 2017 National Budget.This increase is for national implementation of ‘Education for All’ policy. ‘Education for All’ is not only a global and regional advocacy activity.

In PNG ‘Education for All’ is a constitutional duty imposed by the PNG Constitution on all governments. ‘Education for All’ articulated as Integral Human Development must begin with Early Childhood Education and expand into the formal and non-formal sectors of education incorporating formal learning systems, Adult Education, Second Chance for school dropouts, unemployed youths and Special Education for the less able bodied in our communities.

This means PEAN will become the voice for the voiceless, hope for the hopeless and power for the powerless in their own efforts for their personal Integral Human Development.