July 14, 2024


EDUCATION

By LORRAINE JIMAL
OFFICERS from the Department of Education’s Inclusive Education Division and Flexible Open Distance Education (Fode) recently held a week-long public financial management training workshop.
It was a crucial training aimed at enhancing the capability of provincial Fode coordinators and staff to manage, coordinate and correctly report their financial affairs.
As custodians of these public offices, it is crucial for them to appropriately manage public money spent on projects and resources to assist students and provide correct reports.
The coordinators across the country and the headquarters staff were fortunate to have attended the workshop in Lae which was themed “Empowering Educators: Financial Literacy for a Secured Future.”
Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra said in his opening speech that the theme had addressed a common goal to enhance participants with the knowledge and understanding of financial principles, improving money management skills, secure a prosperous future and sound management practice.
“Financial management skills are crucial aspects of our daily lives – personal, businesses or investors. It is about making informed decisions, setting goals and taking control of our financial wellbeing,” he said.
Kombra said that the workshop aimed to equip coordinators with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate finance with confidence and competence.
The presentations were done by various sections including financial instructions, reforms and financial information, project infrastructure and contracts management, asset management and logistics, financial reports, budget formulation, recurrent and projects, accounts payment process and compliance, acquittals, records management cash book, receipts, payments, bank reconciliation and e-registration.
The participants were able to understand and can put into action the things they have learnt from the one-week training.
Additionally, bookkeeping enrolment records will be a thing of history for Fode after the e-registration application website and mobile platform launching on Monday, June 3.
First Assistance Secretary for Fode and Inclusive Education Division Andrew Angobe said that all staff should be well equipped and ready to move with the development of technology.
“We are in the development era and the launching will go a long way in collecting real time student data for information planning and budgeting,” he said.
According to Fode, each coordinator was given a tablet which they will use it to enter student information.
The tablet contained an application called Fode which they can login into and follow the steps to enter all the student’s information.
After the information is completed, they will submit, and it will be directly sent to the head quarter system.
Kombra congratulated the Fode and Inclusive Education Division created in 2022 for the development of such initia-tives to assist students.
Deputy Secretary Walipe Wingi urged Fode provincial centre coordinators to utilise the mobile app and computer programme to capture realistic students’ enrolment data.
“You were provided with insights on e-registration. The mobile and computer application is very important, as Fode is expanding we need correct accurate data, and so when you go back try your best to utilise this mobile app and computer programme so we can capture realistic timely data on our student enrolment. When data comes on time, we get the correct funding and proper planning and good administrative decisions are made, he said.
Wingi added that another milestone that Fode will implement this year is the inclusion of Fode in the Department of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology (DHERST) online selection. Hence, coordinators and all of us are challenged to work extra hard to ensuing that we meet DHERST requirements and deadlines.
According to Bridget Nakos from DHERST: “Both school leavers and non-school leavers will start their application at the same time so given this anticipates, providing an equivalent user experience for both school leavers and non-school leavers to ensure that there is no discrimination between the two groups.”
She added that the selection process would be similar and that there should not be any issue.
Wingi said printing of student materials continues to be a major challenge. The department has come in a big way to support with setting up state of the art offset printing machines at Konedobu Printery in Port Moresby, with another printing setup in Lae.
He added that another set of machines for Lae have arrived and delivered to the centres that should go a long way to assist printing of course materials.
Wingi encouraged them to take what they had learnt and make a difference in their centres.

  •  Lorraine Jimal works with the Flexible Open Distance Education head office.



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