Access to Education – Formal, Informal and In-Between – ONLINE!

I was recently in Port Moresby to attend a Aus-PNG Emerging Leaders’ Network Dialogue which took place from the Tuesday 19th – Thursday 21st December having been nominated by one of my senior ICT colleagues and friend – Mrs Winifred Kula-Amini.
I had also put up the advertised dialogue in a previous post and wrote a bit about it in another, as part of the PNG IMPACT conference that we attended.
But this post is not intended for this Dialogue – I still have to do a write up on this – but interestingly enough  – in relation to this post – it was an educational learning experience for me, being part of the ‘dialogue’ that took place between 20 young people from Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Participants during the Aus-PNG Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue, Port Moresby

One of the issues that we discussed was along the lines of Entrepreneurship – We had one participant (who I met through  the program and learnt that we also related :D) is Christopher Lam – Founder of Barata Street Stuf ; Designer/Fashion/Entrepreneur and one who is passionate in assisting young people to better themselves.

Barata StreetStuf initiative of Lae Spelling Bee & Debates to help young people

Discussions was raised about the increasing numbers of those who do not make it into formal education and how there isn’t really anything set out for them – and that some of these people are talented and smart but possibly because of ‘system’ or some other challenge, they don’t make it and even if they do – it is all part of the big ‘rat race’.

Through his company and also being one of those who were not able to go further in education, he has had the opportunity to develop initiatives such as the Lae Spelling Bee and Debates to get young people to talk about issues in society and his line of fashion is more targeted for young people but issue remains –

what are the opportunities for those who do not have a formal qualification but have a skill or talent that they want to develop?

The same discussion was brought to a panel during the pre-launching of the PNG ICT Cluster on Monday 18th December, which thank you to the ‘dialogue’ I was able to be in POM and attend and be on the panel too 🙂

It would most probably be the 2nd event I have attended where discussions were nothing but ICT 😀 and to have so many ‘geeks’ all in the one room along with potential investors, supporters and the likes.

The highlight I would think for the pre-launch event was one of the panelists/young entrepreneur/software developer who self-taught/home-school’d and runs a software developing company, Crysan Technology, together with her dad! Crystal Kewe! She was on the 1st panel with other software business operators -the difference was she is only 19! and like Chris, was not able to go on to further education but has done something for herself.

Crystal Kewe, Crysan Technology part of the panel during pre-launch ICT Cluster event

She spoke with great confidence, knowledge, know-how and captured everyone’s attention (even current social media feeds :d) – one thing which she spoke about and which has inspired me to put together this post and a separate page to this blog was the need for an additional entry point to University – more so, University of Technology.

For her, who did not complete Year 12 – it is difficult trying to get into Uni in country to do a degree or qualification in Computer Science as this is a per-requisite, but already has the background experience and knowledge in this area.

Winifred Kula-Amini, PNG ICT Cluster with Crystal Kewe, Crysan Technology

I had the opportunity to talk to her and made mention of the Charles Sturt University Online IT Masters Course which also offers free online modules which you could earn certification for and this would earn you credit points towards your masters which I have also subscribed for and signed up for these free online learning but have not actually completed any :/


but – the opportunity is there! and that’s the greatest thing about internet and web access is the access to education at your fingertips! When the system has no place for you in formal learning, when for whatever reason you can not go into achieving what you wish to achieve – the internet provides access to learning, education;

So I’ve put together this page – ICT Courses Online which lists training sites which I have been on, have subscribed and trust others will be able to find something beneficial towards their learning and who knows you, could be, just another Crystal or Chris,  determined to accomplish, to achieve – if given the opportunity – to do self-learning in the comfort of your own home, or anywhere, on your internet -mobile device.

Again – it takes commitment, determination, time and persistance – just as being in formal full-time education!

I guess the only other issue is Internet Costs – but that will have to be another challenge that needs to be resolved – who knows the ICT Cluster may just do that – but for now – check out the page, find a site that may interest you, and if not ICT Learning – check another stream and another!

Learning never stops! Internet is for everyone! All the best!

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