PNG great, Bob Cole, dies on Gold Coast
Encounters: Ray Whitrod and Bob Cole

E Course teachers recalled with affection

Loch Blatchford

I always admired the contribution made by six-month trained E (Emergency) Course teachers. Those I met were of high quality, often working under difficult circumstances. Some continued their studies and went on to hold down top jobs.

Don Owner, at the time the Chief of Division, Teacher Training, was another to recognise their worth. In February 1963 he stated, “Graduates of the first and second ‘E’ Courses are displaying a remarkable degree of enthusiasm. All intend remaining in the Territory after the period of their bond expires. The quality of their work varies, but in every case they are attempting to do something positive. All are planning to improve their academic status by in-service training assignments; by Matriculation studies or by courses leading to a University degree.

“They can form a core of enthusiasts whose good example can spread to hundreds of other teachers. A continuous supply of ‘E’ Course graduates will ensure the Territory of a vastly improved system of primary education. There is no doubt in my mind that the training of this particular group of teacher who now occupy the vast majority of expatiate positions in Primary ‘T’ schools has been justified…

The Missions have expressed themselves almost without exception in favour of the continuation of the training of these people. The training of Teachers Grade I, has therefore my strongest recommendation.”

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