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The impact of the Papua New Guinea Free Education Policy on the School Executive's Decision Making in the management of Class SIze

The Papua New Guinea National Government’s directives on educational policies are expected to be implemented effectively throughout the country, in educational institutions that are solely or partly funded by the government. The Free Education Policy (FEP), also known as Tuition Fee Free Policy (TFFP) is a governmental directive that is implemented in elementary, primary and secondary schools. The implementation of FEP is perceived as a device for fulfilling the National Government’s Universal Basic Education (UBE) Plan (Guy, 2009; Swan & Walton, 2014) that aims to provide formal education for children between the ages of six and eighteen. The 2012 implementation of FEP in secondary schools, created a significant increase in student population thus (Marshall, 2002) creating class sizes to exceed forty-eight students. This study was conducted to explore how classroom teachers are assisted by school leaders in the management of large class sizes as influenced by FEP. Participants included ten school leaders from two separate secondary schools which are currently implementing FEP in the National Capital District of Papua New Guinea. A qualitative research methodology was used, based on the interpretivist paradigm. Guided questions were deliberated and utilised in collecting data through semi-structured and focus group interviews. The data was collated then analysed thematically. The findings indicate that school leaders are very much challenged in assisting classroom teachers manage large class sizes. The main factors that appear to undermine the success of effectively assisting classroom teachers are inadequate facilities, insufficient resource materials and the shortage of teachers. The amount of time classroom teachers have for classroom preparations and presentations are also encumbered by the number of classes with large class sizes. It was apparent that while the National Government’s directive of FEP gives an opportunity for all school aged children to receive formal education, there are setbacks that impede effective implementation of this policy specifically in secondary schools. The implications suggest that as specialised teachers, classroom teachers need to be assisted in managing classes in overcrowded classrooms.
Type of thesis
Abady, R. (2015). The impact of the Papua New Guinea Free Education Policy on the School Executive’s Decision Making in the management of Class SIze (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9822
University of Waikato
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