CENTRAL PROVINCE PROVINCIAL EDUCATION BOARD SUSPENDED ELEMENTRY SYSTEM IN GOILALA IN 2012 – Fr BRIAN CAHILL


Patrick you have got it wrong in stating on FACEBOOK what I said today at the meeting of teachers who are posted to our Catholic Primary Schools in Goilala. Your ‘mole(s)’ at the meeting have carried back to you a distortion of what was stated and you have taken their here-say for fact. Or worse still, the distortion is just plainly your own.

To quote from the first paragraph, being reported as a direct quote of what I supposedly said at the meeting:
“Elementary Sector in Goilala will be suspended and only Grade 1-6 will be implemented. Whoever Standards Officer Central Province wants to push through Elementary is not going to work out.”

Firstly, I must point out that I don’t speak English in this broken fashion, and what is stated above is to quote me incorrectly.

What I said at the meeting is that elementary was suspended in Goilala by the Central PEB in 2012 following an extensive audit of the district elementary sector that was done in 2011 from the time of its inception in 1997.

That suspension has not been uplifted by the PEB and is still in force, contrary the recent efforts made by certain officers operating from within the division and standards acting against this decision of the PEB. Elementary as an experiment has failed in Goilala, and it will simply not work in district for obvious reasons.

Our focus as an agency is for the revitalisation of our primary schools throughout Goilala, ensuring that they each provide a quality learning environment from G1-G6. This is in keeping with the newly introduced 2-6-6 education structure whereby G1 and G2 have been brought back to primary school, and G7 and G8 has been brought back to secondary. So Patrick, if you questioning whether I am representing the correct view of the Department, the PEB, the Bishop (as his duly appointed Vicar) and the Education System of PNG the answer is ‘YES’, I believe so, though I stand to be corrected.

In regards to the collection of K90 project fees, that is also false. Teachers were advised at this meeting that the 2015 Agency Fee for our agency primary schools is K20, and that there is no project fee.

Patrick, the matter of the establishment of boards and the financial management of our agency schools were contentious issues last year, and made so largely by yourself. The controversy around these issues was being fuelled by you and the misinformation you were putting out about what this agency was and was not doing.

It was an outright orchestrated attack on this agency, and its rights as an agency as clearly prescribed in the Education Act 1983. (I suggest you have a read of this Act some time.) Moreover your manipulation of PEB proceedings at the time in an attempt to push through your own agenda in regards to these issue and our Goilala appointments last year was an abuse that has been duly reported (by the Bishop through various correspondences) to the proper authority.

The question to be asked Patrick is who is really trying to manipulate what here? And to describe your two professional colleagues in the district who were at this meeting today – the DES and CES – as being virtual dummies by allowing themselves to be supposedly manipulated by me is not only an insult to me, but to them and their professional integrity.
I wish to point out to you also Patrick that your apparent compartmentalisation of me as being solely a ‘pastor’ as opposed to, and separated from, being an ‘educationalist’ is false and demeaning.

Yes, I am a priest and pastor, there is no question of that – I will be 25 years ordained next year. As such I hold a ‘teaching’ role in the church. However, I am also a professional teacher, last registered as such with the Victorian Teaching Commission (Aust). I hold two degrees (BTheol – Sydney College of Divinity and a BSc – Monash University / Vic) and I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from ACU (from the formerly ‘Christ College, Oakleigh Campus of ICE).

I taught for 6 years in Australian secondary colleges (Darwin and Canberra) before coming to PNG in 1996, and from 1997-2002 I taught CRE at Tapini High School and filled in for science when required.

So I believe I qualify as being a “trained educationalist’ as you wrongly suppose I am not. Maybe this is why successive bishops have asked me to take on the ‘specialist’ work of education in our diocese, and why the previous Governor, Alphonse Moroi appointed me as his PEC Chair for Education.

Patrick, I believe it is improper for you to tell the Bishop what he should do and shouldn’t do in the running of his diocese. Moreover, it is improper and demeaning for you to try and box me in my role as DEB Chair and Parish Priest of Tapini. You need to remember Patrick that you are the standards officer for primary schools and not the Catholic Church. As a priest and an officer of this agency I do not come under your authority, so your personal opinion of me doesn’t really matter.

There is one thing I did mention to the teachers today that I would like to highlight here for you Patrick in conclusion. Teachers have a professional identity which they need to safeguard with their use of social media like FACEBOOK. Professional boundaries need to be maintained as something like FACEBOOK is a public forum. It is not professional to discuss professional / work related matters on such a forum. It is not professional to put out conversation/pictures on social media that will reflect on the organisation you are known represent without first obtaining clearance.

As this holds for teachers, and their personal use of social media, so I suggest this is holds for all us in our professional role. Next time Patrick you have a query about matters of this agency in your role as senior standards officer I suggest you make enquiry through proper channels of communication.

Fr Brian Cahill msc, EV
Episcopal Vicar for Education
Diocese of Bereina

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