Oil Search helps Hela teachers

TEACHERS from Tari recently completed a training course aimed at providing them with necessary skills to teach adolescents and young adults about sex and sexuality as part of their personal development curriculum.
Oil Search helps Hela teachers Oil Search helps Hela teachers Oil Search helps Hela teachers Oil Search helps Hela teachers Oil Search helps Hela teachers

The five-day training was developed and facilitated by the Oil Search Foundation in partnership with the Hela Provincial Education Department to provide the teachers with strategies, skills and new ideas for presenting sensitive subjects.

Like in many parts of Papua New Guinea, in Hela sex and sexuality remain culturally sensitive issues and not matters normally discussed lightly.

Maria Peters, a facilitator from the Oil Search Foundation, said that many teachers did not feel comfortable speaking about sexuality. However, sex education was an important part of the National Department of Education curriculum for personal development.

"The training and mentorship workshop was to assist the teachers to improve their skills and confidence in presenting topics related to sex and sexuality," said Peters.

Some of the topics in the personal development curriculum cover respect, sexual orientation, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, contraception, life choices, pregnancy, communication, sexual roles and gender.

The participants were taught a range of techniques and strategies. They used these new skills to prepare and present in practical sessions that were captured on video and replayed to allow immediate feedback from their peers.

Many of the participants described the training as unique and specifically tailored to their needs. The Oil Search Foundation will provide school follow-up sessions to support the teachers in the classroom.

Meanwhile lecturers from teacher training colleges across PNG joined members of Voluntary Services Overseas in Port Moresby at the weekend for the final meeting of the Teacher Education Support Program.

The program strengthens teacher training in mathematics and science, and offers strategies to make the subjects fun and engaging.

The Australian High Commission in PNG said that Australia was pleased to have partnered with PNG's Department of Education, Voluntary Services Overseas and teacher training colleges, providing funding of more than $A735,000 "to ensure new maths and science teachers are equipped with the knowledge and innovative tools to help their students learn".

Education program manager Fiona Farley said the event was a chance to conduct an end-of-project review.

"Today was also important because we will be distributing lots of the materials produced, including some animated videos that can be used to teach maths and science in the classroom," Farley said.



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