EXXONMOBIL PNG Limited, the Central Provincial Government Education Division and Esmie Sinapa Development Consultants and Services have partnered in a new initiative to help improve school board governance and leadership capacities, with the development of a new Board of Management (BoM) Training Manual.

Esmie Sinapa Development Consultants and Services with support from ExxonMobil PNG, developed the manual following a series of capacity building workshops with school BoM members for Porebada, Boera, Papa and Lealea schools in Central province.

The manual will also be used to develop skills within BoM members of nine schools within PNG LNG Project areas in Hela province.

While initially developed for PNG LNG project area schools, the BoM Training Manual has been presented to the Central Provincial Government Education Divison for use by schools throughout the province.

The BoM Training Manual complements the PNG National Education Department’s “A Board of Management Handbook for Elementary, Primary and Community Schools” and concentrates on up-skilling leadership and governance qualities of BoM members.

The BoM manual covers five modules that include influential leadership; effective communications; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education emphasis; good governance; and understanding and application of the Department of Education BoM Handbook.

ExxonMobil PNG Community Development Support manager, Sisa Kini, said that the company recognises that the BoM forms a critical component and basic foundation of a school’s overall management.

“The school BoM carries the vision and mission of the school into the community and brings the views of the community to the school. By understanding the context and the needs of the schools, BoM and the communities, ExxonMobil PNG and other partners are able to provide targeted support and input to the BoM and communities.

Importantly, good leadership in schools is able to identify challenges, find solutions and set the vision for the schools,” she said.

Ms Kini said good governance and leadership of any school were prerequisites to any educational institution in providing quality education to children.

“The unique approach taken in the development of this manual, was that, stakeholders (BoM members, head teachers and community leaders) of the schools were involved in the development, review and practical trial application of the manual before it was finalised,” she said.

Ms KMini emphasised that the participatory approach taken by Esmie Sinapa Development Consultants and Services resulted in ownership of the product and experienced knowledge of the manual from all stakeholders.

Central Provincial Government Deputy Administrator, Edward Kila acknowledged and thanked ExxonMobil PNG for their continued partnership in helping to deliver such services.

“We hope the BoM manual will be considered for use by the Department of Education for other schools in the country,” he said.