Since Independence in 1975, one of the main roles of the primary school teacher in Papua New Guinea has been to promote community development. Recent policy, however, is aimed at making community development the central focus of primary teaching. This paper argues that such an orientation is likely to result in community discontent, the creation of restrictions on the extent to which worthwhile lifelong learning can take place, and failure to lay the groundwork for a technically orientated economy. Recent policy aimed at giving primary school teachers a major role in out-of-school community development is also inappropriate given the limited nature of teacher training candidates, the nature of the teaching environment, and the nature of Papua New Guinea society. © 1993.
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