OLPC Papua New Guinea/Dreikikir Report June 08

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Contents



Dreikikir Trial Deployment Report

Please see also the main OLPC PNG page

Dreikikir was selected from 29 primary schools hosted by the EU-funded Improvement of Rural Primary Education Facilities project (IRPEF) based in Madang. IRPEF nominated Dreikikir as being the most suitable, based on a balance of remoteness and yet accessibility and known qualities. The Department of Education then approved the selection.

The IRPEF Manager, Alex Talmon-l'Armée, facilitated the arrangements at the school.

Deployment

The deployment took place between Monday 16th and Friday 20th June 2008. Associated meetings with Provincial and District officials, and stakeholders, took place around these dates.

The laptops were all updated to build 703 / G1G1 activity pack with Speak Activity and Flash added, in Wewak before the deployment.

The following officials accompanied David Leeming and participated throughout:

Dept of Education:

  • Brian Gaius Monie, Senior Policy Development Officer
  • Nicholas Ruabin, IT Manager
  • William, Senior policy officer at the Minister’s Office

Province and District:

  • Douglas Sapiyep, District Education Advisor (DEA), Dreikikir
  • Christopher Sangisi, Standards Officer, Dreikikir District

Outcomes

The following were achieved:

  • Meeting is Madang to brief and consult representatives from IRPEF, SIL and DWU
  • Briefing of the Provincial Education Advisor, East Sepik, Joseph Ouyoumb
  • 47 laptops were delivered to Dreikikir
  • School teachers, including other nearby primary schools, elementary school briefed
  • Welcome ceremony attended by community, with first opportunity to raise awareness
  • Launching ceremony, Minister of Education as guest of honour, with community awareness briefing
  • Hand-over ceremony, Provincial Education Advisor as guest of honour, further awareness briefing
  • Training of 17 teachers, 2 members of the school Board of Management and 2 district officials
  • Training of 37 Grade 3 students
  • Handing over of laptops to students

Meetings in Madang

On 15th June David Leeming met with:

  • Manager, IRPEF (contact details as above)
  • SIL (PNG) Technical Officer for PNG, Brian Chapaitis
  • Meeting in Madang with IT Manager, Divine Word University (DWU), Chandana Silva andDr Alfred Tivinarlik, Faculty of Education (based Wewak)

Outcomes of the meetings:

SIL can/will be a very willing partner. Their interest in basic literacy including in the vernacular is harmonious with that of the OLPC programme. SIL will therefore be willing to:

  • Join the national steering group/task force
  • Help with advocacy and capacity building generally
  • Help with the localisation
  • Integrate their own initiatives and applications for the XO, working with their literacy teams in the villages
  • Join the Wikieducator training and thus be able to give technical assistance to local educators developing electronic content
  • Help evaluate and design locally appropriate power solutions – for instance, solar is not appropriate in some parts as there are long wet seasons and too much cloud
  • Advise on languages (one snippet learned is that Motu as in Gaire is a politically charged language – it is a dominant language group)
  • SIL wrote the position papers for using the vernacular in K3 schooling, and are very interested that it is still policy; the problem before was the expense of a limited production run of materials in vernacular, but the OLPC can provide the solution – can consider creating the materials using WikiEducator
  • Can mobilise large numbers of locals and expat volunteers – but they do have very heavy workloads so we must respect that.

DWU:

  • Have a programme of community libraries with solar, backup gen and VSAT, prefabricated buildings total cost USD 101K each, and are working with Telekom to build a hub in Madang joined to optical fibre courtesy of Telekom (and the fibre link between Australia and Guam). The VSAT net will then circumvent the telecom regs as it will be considered a closed network. It is a very impressive design. Health, Prisons and other sectors are collaborating. It might be worth considering how this can connect with OLPC programme.
  • Dr Alfred Tivinarlik, Pro Vice President of Faculty of Education, is a specialist in teacher training. We discussed the possibility of him working on teacher training for the XOs, integration into the classroom, and an academic viewpoint on evaluation. He is very keen on this. DWU would have to work with the Ministry and coordinate such an important component. He is based in Wewak so is close to Dreikikir, and can work with the DEA and district Standards Officer, in a collaboration with PNG Education.
  • DWU have lots of research students and if they had a few laptops to play with they could surely come up with some good research programmes on content, developing activities and teacher issues. Can we get them 5?

IPREF:

  • Alex could not come to Drekikir but will try and visit after a couple of weeks. He is very supportive.
  • IRPEF have funds allocated for communication for their 29 schools.

Briefing of the PEA

In his Wewak offices, the Provincial Education Advisor, East Sepik, Joseph G. Ouyoumb was briefed using the standard briefing agenda and copies of the standard information package were copied to his computer. He then arranged to attend Dreikikir during the week. He much appreciated the briefing and will be an important local champion/facilitator. Involvement at province and district level through his office ensures continuity of the processes including support and evaluation.

His office also facilitated extensive photocopying of teacher information packs.

Contact details: Division of Education, East Sepik, ph. 8562705, fax 856208

Briefing of teachers at the site

Training of 17 teachers, 2 members of the school Board of Management and 2 district officials took part. The standard agenda was used, with the videos of Peru and Solomon Islands shown and discussed. 10 bound copies of the information pack were handed to the school.

Training of teachers

Teacher training took place on Tuesday afternoon, using an early version of the standard training plan (see OLPC Oceania page) for Trials. As at Gaire, teacher training continued “on the job” whilst training the students the next day. Issues:

  • The time allocated was insufficient to give the teachers real confidence, although they were very happy with it. However, it is to be expected that they will learn very rapidly and will also learn from each other and from students. Some teachers were noticeably quicker than others; these will
  • In the course of the training, one teacher Andrew Alois, a young teacher with some computing skills (but no Internet experience), was nominated as the school technical officer for the OLPC. He was given extra training. Another teacher, Mary Pesuwas, has her own laptop and is also likely to help.
  • The teachers were encouraged to learn Internet email skills, and the Province officials noted this training need. The nearby Maprik township has public Internet access and in offices there.
  • It was a good idea to let the teachers take the XOs home immediately
  • Owing to the lower number of students that were found actually enrolled (there were some transfers), the school ended up with 10 laptops for teachers, including the two Grade 3 teachers. As some teachers were married couples, every teacher has access to an XO in the home.
  • The above demonstrated clearly why it is important to give the teachers laptops. They were then all very much participating in the student training and sharing ideas on classroom integration.

Training of students

Student training took place on the Wednesday and Thursday, with the teachers assisting, using an early version of the standard training plan (see OLPC Oceania page) for Trials. Issues/highlights:

  • The second session was conducted outside in small groups, which helped to promote sharing and dynamics. Pictures of these trainings on the wiki provide useful illustration.
  • As with the Teacher Training, the time allocated was less than desirable, although sufficient.
  • It was noticed that many students were quicker learning than the teachers, and were seen to help the slower ones.
  • Older students joined in with the freer group session. This was seen to be beneficial and also raises awareness in the wider community.

Ceremonies

Three ceremonies took place. All three were used to explain the OLPC to the community, many of whom attended. The three ceremonies were:

  • Initial welcome for the OLPC/SPC and Department team
  • Official Launch by the Minister, at which he confirmed support for the project and it was announced that additional laptops will be provided to saturate the school (to some level) at a later date.
  • Official Hand-over, at which the laptops were presented to each child officially, by the Provincial Education Advisor. The Province Chief Standards Officer also attended. Each teacher who took part in training also received a signed certificate.

During the ceremony, the MC teacher clarified the core principles to the audience enthusiastically. This message was well understood and accepted by teachers, officials and community.

The school agreed to manage a parents meeting the following week, to explain the principles further and to sign and issue the standard Parent’s Agreement and Student Certificate.

Evaluation

Evaluation is needed by the host countries, development partners, SPC and OLPC Oceania. Please see the Evaluation Strategy on the main OLPC Oceania page. The teacher training included discussion of evaluation. The following approaches were decided by teachers, and agreed with the education officials present:

  • Teachers would keep a log book / diary and update it with any feedback on how the laptops are being used, new ideas on classroom integration as they develop, and feedback on student’s uses. Also feedback of problems and issues.
  • Every morning, the first lesson is an “oral session” where teachers can discuss the laptops with the children. This session will be used to get daily feedback.
  • Parents evenings and staff meetings will also be used to get feedback and share ideas.
  • The district school standards officer and education advisor have been trained and fully participated in the deployment. This is very important, as they are available “on the ground” to make evaluations and carry reports from the school to the Province and Department.
  • A volunteer to be based at Dreikikir for 2 weeks will provide additional evaluations on behalf of OLPC Oceania. Guidance on this from SPC will be crucial.

School Profile

Dreikikir Admin Primary School, East Sepik, is located 4 hours drive from Wewak has a total enrolment of about 500 including the Elementary school with Grades 1 and 2, and feeder schools (extra classes located separately). A total of 515 laptops is required to saturate the whole school including teachers under these terms, although other options would be to saturate Grade 1-6 only, or Grade 3-8 only. The current Acting Minister of Education, Hon. Tony Aimo, is the MP for the Ambunti-Dreikikir constituency.

Power profile

Dreikikir has a local grid power supply, however it is only used in the evenings and the school has no connection. More than 50% of students do not even have a power connection in the homes. The host project (the EU-funded IRPEF) may assist the school to have a connection, but laptops could only be charged in the evenings. However, this might provide an early solution.

Meanwhile, a temporary (unsatisfactory) solution is being used with PNG-procured 3-pin adapters and multiple powerboards. Students now have to charge them at home or at a nearby teacher’s house. A school server, access point and school-based charging solution would require a solar power supply installing at the school. The insolation conditions are suitable for solar power,

Connectivity profile

There is no Internet access. Cellphone access is provided by B-Mobile. Digicel is building towers along the road from Wewak and will have a presence in the near future. Dreikikir is the centre of a district area.

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