The first half of 2014 has sped by in a blur. By mid January, Gertrude was at Ukarumpa helping colleagues with a Vernacular to English trial workshop. This course will be repeated later in the year lecturers of teachers’ colleges who will train elementary trainers and elementary teachers. This course was preceded by a phonics course for early childhood education in home languages. Gertrude spent weeks tweaking the Creative Phonics trainers manual and participants workbook. These were being prepared for an elementary trainers in-service to deliver the method to elementary teachers in their provinces. By March, Gertrude found herself at Divine Word University in Madang assisting the National Department of Education to develop Standards Based Curriculum statements for the nation. It was a great experience and one which again reminded Gertrude of the wealth of home-grown experience and expertise yet to be tapped.
The month of May found Gertrude back in New Ireland doing more literacy training The first was a one-week Creative Phonics in-service for 100 elementary teachers in partnership with elementary trainers of the province. Some elementary teachers had attended the national in-service and were a big help in managing training for such a large group. It was a delight to have one of my literacy trainees from the 1990s, Miriam Langas, who helped most of all. She is now a head teacher at Putput Elementary School. The second workshop was during the month-long NITI Literacy Course from May 21 to June 21. Elementary teachers were permitted to join this course and it was great to see lay-people trained to go back to isolated areas of New Ireland to assist in the education of young children.