The sad story of the O’Neill government’s dumbest investment

Let’s concentrate on skills ahead of knowledge-based education


PORT MORESBY - We should denounce knowledge-based education and concentrate on skills-based education.

Let us not judge our children by their ability to memorise and regurgitate information, let us assess them for being innovative.

Let them do it in Pidgin too. Speaking fluent English does not put food on the table, entrepreneurship does - money does not speak just one language.

We are an intelligent people. Our ancestors learnt by observation. Nothing has changed in our psyche.

Why do we herd our children like cows in a field when we can tailor our education system to one of apprenticeship?

Let us not blame our children. The system designed by outsiders is not good for us.

Leadership is about making decisions that favour us and not us playing, ‘yes master’, to outside ideas and standards.


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Philip Kai Morre

Skills and knowledge are linked and interrelated; they don't operate in isolation.

Science and technology is knowledge. According to the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, knowledge begins with wonder and curiosity.

People learn by observing and doing things. They have both a thinking mind and a working mind and seek to link both.

These are two different things: knowledge is abstract in the form of an idea or insight; skills put that knowledge into practice.

A scientist formulates theories but it's the technician who designs and makes things happen. Architecture designs building but the carpenter that builds them.

What sort of education we were taught does not matter, we have in-built knowledge and we have to explore deeper to use that hidden knowledge for the benefit of ourselves and others.

You don't need a PhD or a master's degree to invent new things, a simple diploma in a tech school can acquire more skills to do more things.

John K Kamasua

I have seen that students who excel outside university are the ones who mostly think outside the box, make an effort to augment their literacy and numeracy abilities with skills and develop their skills through exposure and application.

There is a difference between acquiring knowledge and having a skill that provides the outlet to use the knowledge.

Ed Brumby

I didn't intend to make a direct connection between knowledge, skills and socialisation, Phil. However, on reflection, I'd have to say that, in order to function effectively and capably in any society, one needs to know certain things and be able to do certain things.

Literacy is not necessarily one of those requisites - as evidenced by the many societies, past and present, that have survived, thrived even, without its benefits. Even in our 'modern' Australian society the ABC reported in early 2014 'that at least half of the island state's population cannot read or write (English) properly'.

Bernard Corden

Since leaders are no longer equated with being superior, followers should no longer be equated with being subordinate - Barbara Kellerman

Bernard Corden

Rules and models destroy genius and art - William Hazlitt

The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity, even a dead fish can go with the flow - Jim Hightower

All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I'm not quite sure what you mean Ed.

Are you saying that students who are socialised through the education system to conform and comply must have some sort of prerequisite knowledge and skills?

I think Tanya presupposes that education is just about training people to work when in reality it is about producing well-rounded people able and willing to learn in all aspects of life, income generating or not.

If you don't teach students to read and write in English you are robbing them of the great cultural experience offered by literature.

To me that smacks of cruelty.

Ed Brumby

I am not sure how skills can be acquired without some kind of knowledge/understanding. A carpenter needs to 'know' basic arithmetic if he/she is to apply their carpentry skill, for instance.

In an case, as I've said in a previous post, the fundamental purpose of education is to teach compliance, conformity and socialisation, all of which require certain measures of knowledge and skill.

Bernard Corden

'Pedagogy of the Oppressed' by Paulo Freire:

'Deschooling Society' by Ivan Illich:

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