DWU News (30)
Staff of the Faculty of Medcine and Health Sciences in a workshop on "Flipped Learning" with
Associate Professor Iwona Kolodziejczyk PhD, director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching recently.
Divine Word University is preparing to resume classes on Monday 27 April.
This follows an announcement by the Prime Minister James Marape this week to lift restrictions on academic activities and allow higher education institutions to resume classes on the date.
The suspension of classes in all educational institutions were among measures the Government of Papua New Guinea took on 23 March after the detection of the country's first positive coronavirus case.
The two weeks lookdown was followed by the Parliament voting for and declaring a national State of Emergency for two months that also decided that classes remained suspended until the decision to lift the restrictions this week.
The Government expects higher education institutions to resume classes as long as they put in place safety measures to mitigate any occurrence and spread of the coronavirus on their respective campuses.
DWU was tentatively informed of the government decision and is awaiting formal written correspondence from the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) with details of the government decision.
Deputy President of DWU, Professor Father Philip Gibbs informed the DWU community that the management is awaiting specific instructions from DHERST about the resumptions of classes.
Professor Gibbs said: “So, it seems we can resume next Monday (27 April).
"There will be some conditions."
"I will share that when we receive them.”
DWU, on its part, had planned to resume classes last Tuesday 14 April after putting in place necessary safety protocols to mitigate COVID 19. The University had been awaiting direction from the Controller of the State of Emergency Mr David Manning to resume classes throughout last week.
Professor Gibbs noted then how staff and students and the University management felt they were ready for classes starting last week. He said the decision was reached after assessing the coronavirus response measures put in place on campus, the capacity to conduct classes in ways that include online content, and consultation with authorities.
The University has beefed up staffing and resources at its Alessandro Clinic in the main Madang campus and put in place contingency plans to mitigate any occurrence of COVID 19 on campus.
Professor Gibbs said: “New health workers have joined us so now we are fortunate to be able to offer 24 on-call service at our clinic.
He told DWU community: “You will notice that we are setting up part of the St John Paul II hall for people to come first where a decision can be made as to whether they are attended to at the Clinic or elsewhere.
The hotline numbers are Digicel 75722527. and Bmobile. 78394610”.
A notable feature of DWU’s preparedness to resume classes is the training of teaching staff to use various information communication technologies-based non-contact academic program delivery modes.
DWU’s Centre of Learning and Teaching headed by Associate Professor Iwona Kolodziejczyk PhD has been in the for front of preparing teaching staff to use more ICT non-contact academic program delivery modes.
The academics have variously engaged with their students online using the Moodle learning management systems and other online platforms during the initial 14-day nationwide lockdown and the subsequent State of Emergency. Ends/
Deputy President of Divine Word University, Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD
Divine Word University is awaiting direction from the Controller of the State of Emergency, Mr David Manning to resume classes this week as planned.
Deputy President of DWU, Professor Father Philip Gibbs SVD noted how staff and students and the University management felt they were ready for classes starting this week.
He said the decision to resume classes was reached after assessing the coronavirus response measures put in place on campus, the capacity to conduct classes in ways that include online content, and consultation with authorities including Minister for Higher Education Mr Nick Kuman.
Professor Gibbs said DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou is seeking advice from the SOE controller on whether the University should resume classes this week.
The Government tentatively announced 27 April as the date they would advise whether classes in all educational institutions would start, however waiting that long to begin would mean that some programs would have to continue through Christmas into New Year in order to complete the necessary learning activities.
Professor Gibbs told staff that while awaiting the response from the SOE controller, they can proceed to contact their classes “by email or Moodle or other means and by assigning some constructive activities.” “The SOE has certainly provided a boost for our technological readiness,” Professor Gibbs noted.
Professor Gibbs said the University had taken significant measures to safeguard its campuses against any occurrence of coronavirus since the first two-weeks of nationwide lock-down announced by the Government. The lock-down followed the first confirmed case of COVID 19 detected in Morobe Province on 13 March.
The measures put in place in the Madang campus include strict control movement of people at the main-gate, campus-wide awareness, regular meetings among various committees and management, ban on betel nut, smoking and alcohol, procurement of personnel protective equipment and use of infra-red thermometers to check the temperature of people entering the campus.
Professor Gibbs said he has also participated in the regular meetings and briefings of the response team led by the Madang Provincial Health Authority.
The University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning has also been busy conducting trainings for staff to facilitate various online and blended modes of teaching and learning during the lock-down and SOE periods.
Professor Gibbs has also advised the physiotherapy department to conduct recreation and fitness activities so staff and students can boost their fitness during the SOE.
Meanwhile, Professor Gibbs said students who wish to leave and travel to other Provinces should formally withdraw from studies and not return until next year. He said those wishing to leave the campus and travel inter-province for genuine reasons will have to return and go through a period of 14 days quarantine and isolation on their return. He said this is for the good health and safety of everyone on campus.
Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea is making use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other innovative steps to keep its students and staff and their dependents secure from the coronavirus pandemic.
The university has heeded the call by the Government of Papua New Guinea and health authorities and has taken measures to ensure public health and hygiene are being maintained at its campuses at all times.
Deputy President of DWU, Professor Fr Philip Gibbs said: “Here at DWU we are continuing to respond to government directives and the recommendations from our own committees.
“Committees within our Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences have been meeting regularly since 13th March.”
“They contribute to a Steering Committee chaired by myself.”
Prof Gibbs said: “Our DWU plan has 5 levels of threat ranging from Green, through Yellow, Orange 1, Orange 2 and Red.
“Currently with only one positive case having been identified in PNG we officially fit in the Yellow zone, however following the announcement by the government of a 14 day state of emergency after the first breach of security we raised the level at DWU to Orange 1.”
That has resulted in the university suspending all face-to-face lectures and academic engagements and using online means such as the Moodle learning platform to ensure students continue their education.
Prof Gibbs said that students who have come for flexible learning courses continue with their classes. “However, for the foreseeable future courses in Flexible learning will be limited to those that can be run entirely online or through distance learning methods,”
He said many of the University workers coming from outside the campus have been asked to remain at home for the two week period, though some such as cooks are either housed on campus or come onto campus through university transport.
“Anyone coming from outside the campus is required to observe strict hygiene practices.
“For example, any non-residential students coming to use the library or Moodle have to present their ID, sign in, and use hand sanitizer provided at the gate.
“Everyone on campus is asked to observe personal hygiene such as hand-washing, and social distancing.
“An awareness group led by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has set up information boards and is conducting awareness on both the main campus and Modilon campus and residences at Coronation Drive, DCA and Binnen.”
Prof Gibbs added: “We need to be aware that no cases of the Coronavirus have been found in Madang and we are not in the red zone of alert.
“We try to avoid panic and to critically assess information through social media. There is no actual emergency on campus, but students and staff are strongly advised to remain on campus during the government announced state of emergency for the nation. Entry is by ID only and there is a buai (betelnut) ban on campus with K100 spot fine for anyone found chewing or spitting.”
He said hotline telephone numbers have been set up and posted on the internal Intranet broadcast for students and staff to contact in case of any future emergencies.
The photos below are from the COVID 19 awareness in the different locations of DWU in Madang.
Human Resources Management officer Helen Tuka (left) taking new tutors Shirlbyna Ramtonic and Debbie Ogano on a tour of
the campus today (Monday 20 January). Photo: DWU Marketing
Divine Word University staff in the main campus in Madang began duty for the 2020 Academic Year in earnest today (Monday 20 January 2020).
The campus came to live with staff going about getting themselves organized, filling in forms, taking ID cards and setting themselves up in their respective offices for another hectic academic year.
New staff also joined in to begin their sojourn as staff of DWU.
The rest of this week is marked for staff preparation in their faculties, departments and division.
Next week (starting Monday 27 January) is set aside for the year’s preview presentations by the President, Deputy President, Vice Presidents, Deans and Directors sharing with the staff what the plans are for each of their sections of responsibility.
Students will begin registration and participate in orientation programs on the week starting Monday 3rd February.
The academic year will be launched on Friday 7th February at the St John Paul II Hall. Archbishop of Madang Archdiocese, His Grace Anton Bal will be the main celebrant in the Eucharistic Celebration (Mass) and will deliver the keynote address after the Mass.
The pioneer MBBS students of DWU demonstrating the functions of the medical mannequins to the Australian High Commissioner
Mr Bruce Davis during his visit to the Madang campus in November last year. Photo courtesy of DWU Marketing.
This year, 2020, beckons as an exciting academic year for Divine Word University (DWU) across its campuses.
It is the 24th year of DWU’s existence after the former Divine Word Institute (DWI) transitioned into a university in 1996 following a decision by the Government of Papua New Guinea under the leadership of Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan.
The University is approaching the year under the theme “It is in giving that we receive”, which is a noble reminder of reciprocity of service taken from St Francis of Assisi.
The theme is particularly appropriate in the second “Year of Laity” declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands.
President of DWU Professor Cecilia Nembou in her welcome message in the 2020 DWU calendar reminds all stakeholders to support the growth of the university that was founded by Catholic missionaries for the benefit of all.
“In 2020, and on the eve of DWU’s quarter century of University life, we wish to pursue our vision to be recognized nationally and internationally by our value-based innovative application of technology to enhance learning and teaching, and to give the opportunities of higher education to as many learners as possible,” says the President.
“We endeavour to serve society through quality of research, learning and teaching, and community engagement in a Christian environment, and to provide authentic model for national unity by continuous dialogue and nurturing relationships with all levels of community, business, government and PNG cultures in the life and work of the University,” says Prof Nembou.
The President goes on to say that “We (DWU) commit to harness the power of information and communication technology for knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and for sustainable development practices of care for people and the environment.
“We promote research and higher degrees in studies while being mindful of the issues of ethics, quality, relevance, access, equal opportunity, peace and social justice.
“As a dynamic and rapidly growing University we commit to set high standards of excellence in learning and teaching, and research for all students and staff to be role models of moral and ethical behavior in public, private and professional life based on Christian values.
“To this end, I would like to renew our invitation to our partners and benefactors, Government of Papua New Guinea, donors, alumni, and parents to embrace our aspirations and sustain your trust in us as together we create a successful future for DWU to serve the common good, for it is in giving that we receive,” said Prof Nembou.
Notable among the highlights of 2020 would be the pioneer Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students doing their fifth (5th) and final year of study in the main campus in Madang.
This means the MBBS program will for the first since its inception in 2016 will have the full program of five lots of students, from first year to the fifth or final year of study.
By the end of this year, the pioneer final MBBS students would be ready to go for the compulsory two-year medical residency in hospitals around the country.
The pioneer class of MBBS students started in 2016 under the academic leadership of Professor Brother Jerzy Kuzma SVD as foundation head of Department of Medicine within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Amidst many challenges the students and the department came through and they would be looking forward to finishing the year on a high.
The MBBS program was introduced to assist in addressing the critical shortage of doctors and other medical professionals in PNG, particularly in rural areas where majority of PNG’s population of 8 million live.
In terms of infrastructure in the Madang campus, seven new houses for senior staff plus a double-floor dormitory each for female and male students are set be opened in the earlier part of the year.
Across in Wewak at St Benedict’s campus, the pioneer Diploma in General Nursing students who started last year, would be heading into their second year of study.
The nursing program in the Wewak campus adds to the existing one at the St Mary’s School of Nursing in Vunapope, which is part of the Rabaul campus of DWU.
DWU is also doing notably well in rolling out the Bachelors’ degree program in primary teaching in its Wewak and OLSH Kabaleo (Rabaul) campuses and this is set to continue in 2020 to better equip the next generation of primary teachers for PNG.
Port Moresby campus, again would be reaching out to as many working professionals in the National Capital District to take up programs offered there in the flexible mode, notably in the areas of finance and management.
The new Tabubil campus is under the tutelage of the Port Moresby campus and there is promise for more flexible learning opportunities for people in and around the mining townships of Tabubil and Kiunga.
In residential campuses such as Madang and Wewak, the university is investing considerably in the improvement in security arrangements to ensure safety of students and staff.
The 2020 Academic Year officially starts on 20 January with lecturers and other administration staff returning to work.
Registration and orientation programs for students start on Monday 3rd February and the Academic Year for the Madang campus will be formally launched on Friday 7th February.
President of DWU Professor Cecilia Nembou receives a sample of the medical mannequins from Australian High Commissioner
Mr Bruce Davis.
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Divine Word University received medical mannequins from the Australian Government recently.
The mannequins, or dummies in the shape of human beings, will be used for clinical training in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor Surgery (MBBS) program and other medical programs such as Rural Health (Health Extension) and rehabilitation science (physiotherapy) in the faculty.
Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Mr Bruce Davis visited the Madang campus and presented the mannequins to DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou in a ceremony attended by university staff.
The mannequins were acquired through the Kina-4-Kina assistance facility of the Australian government in PNG.
Mr Davis spoke highly of the progress DWU has made and said the Australian government is pleased to partner with the university.
He noted the contributions the Australian government has made through the Incentive Fund under the PNG-Australia Partnership Programme.
Mr Davis said DWU has received four rounds of Incentive Fund that paid for infrastructure projects totaling K27 million over the last 20 years.
He said it was pleasing for the Australian government to see the infrastructure put to good use in the university.
Prof Nembou said DWU is indebted to the Australian government and more so the Australian taxpayers who continue to support the university.
She said the university is grateful to have the kind of support it has received from the Australian people over the years.
Prof Nembou said DWU would go so far in terms of infrastructure, programmmes to provide service to the people of Papua New Guinea without the kind support from the Australian taxpayers.
While on campus, Mr Davis and other dignitaries were given a tour of the simulation room of the faculty where teaching doctors and medical students gave a demonstration of how the mannequins were used for medical education.
Mr Davis and the entourage were also visited the construction sites of the seven staff houses and two student dormitories funded by the fourth round of the Incentive Fund that DWU received.
DWU Council Chairperson, Archbishop Dr Douglas Young SVD presenting the Excellence in Teaching Award
to Ms Nathaline Murki.
Staff of Divine Word University in Madang ended their annual Review Week on a high note with a President’s Dinner and presentation of awards last Friday evening (15 Nov 2019).
The President’s Dinner and awards night was made special by the attendance of the DWU Council who were on campus for their end-of-year Council Meeting during the day (last Friday).
DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou PhD thanked all staff for their hard work throughout the year.
Prof Nembou said she was indebted to the staff for the kinds of work they do and did this year for the university. She wished the staff well in their Christmas holidays for a restful vacation.
Prof Nembou said: “Thank you once again for you cooperation, for your hard work and support as staff and for the council for their wisdom and advise to all of us.
“And want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
“Please come back safe, enjoy holidays, be nice to you family. Thank you all very much”.
DWU Council chairperson Archbishop Most Reverend Dr Douglas Young SVD also echoed the same sentiments as the President to the staff. He commended staff for carrying the university through the year despite some challenges.
Archbishop Young said: “So I echo the words of the President (Prof Cecilia Nembou) and I would like to thank and encourage all of you staff members of Divine Word University.
“From our (Council) point of view, it has been a good year, a great year.
“I know that you were at the coalface of lots of the problems and you know very well where the problems are and the weaknesses.
“But we (Council) slightly at the helicopter perspective; we see all those problems and weaknesses but we also see the great successes.
“And when we heard the reports from the vice presidents, there is a bit of a focus on the problem areas but there is an awareness of the successes as well,” Archbishop Young said.
Several staff received awards for excellence in teaching and research during the dinner.
Archbishop Young presented the awards.
Mr Waka Tosa from the Department of PNG Studies and International Relations and Ms Nathaline Murki from the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management received the “Teaching Excellence Award” after being rated highly by students in their teaching during the year.
Dr Elisabeth Schuele from the Department of Public Health Leadership and Training received the “Excellence in Research Award” for research work including publications and participation in conferences during the year. The Review Week allows the President, Vice Presidents, Deans and Directors to report about the performance of each of their divisions in the academic year.
Below are photos of the President's Dinner taken by Dr KEVIN PAMBA.
It is that time of the year in Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea when faculties and departments are busy hosting symposiums and various project presentations.
The symposiums and project presentations are mostly for assessment purposes for students while staff present their research work for their development as academics.
Last Friday 4 October was the turn of two academic departments, Information Systems and Mathematics & Computing Sciences to present their students’ project work.
In the weeks before that, the University hosted the 4th National Environmental Health Symposium spearheaded by the Department of Environmental Health, the Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo by the Tourism and Hospitality Management Department, Faculty of Arts of Arts and Social Sciences "Maror" Symposium and Business Ethics Symposium of the Business Studies Department.
Today, Friday 11 October is the turn of the Faculty of Education to host a symposium. The Faculty is hosting its 3rd annual Research Symposium in the Madang campus in both the SVD Memorial Auditorium and Sir Peter Barter Auditorium.
The symposium is a platform for students and staff in the Faculty of Education to present their research work. The presentations highlight the various issues and developments in the field of education in Papua New Guinea as observed by the students and staff researchers in the faculty.
The presentations have been grouped into four themes. The themes are, (1) Challenges in teaching and learning, (2) Teacher training and staff development, (3) Management of curriculum implementation and (4) Management of school resources.
DWU Vice president for Academic Affairs and Acting Vice President for Research Professor Pamela Norman gave the opening remarks while the guest speaker was Mr Baran Sori, Chair of the PNG Teaching Services Commission.
DWU Deputy President Professor Father Philip Gibbs SVD gave the keynote address. A panel discussion follows after lunch today.
Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD and Professor Pamela Norman cutting the cake to mark
the occassion and looking on is DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou. Photo by Dr Kevin Pamba.
Divine Word University has a new Deputy President.
He is Professor Father Philip Gibbs SVD, a long-serving Catholic priest and researcher originally from New Zealand who has served in Papua New Guinea for many years.
Prof Gibbs served DWU as the Vice President for Research and Higher degrees until his appointment to the second highest post in the Madang-headquartered University. Prof Gibbs officially took office on Monday 2nd September 2019 and will serve for three years.
Professor Gibbs takes over from Professor Pamela Norman who served in the office for the last three and half years. Professor Norman, who has been with DWU since 2004, continues in her substantive role as the Vice President for Academic Affairs responsible for all academic programs and she is also the Professor of Education in the University.
A formal handover take-over ceremony between Prof Gibbs and Prof Norman took place in a “traditional” DWU morning tea in front of three members of the University Council and DWU staff at the staff mess in the Madang campus last Wednesday 28 August 2019.
Three members of the University Council were the DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou, Sir Peter Barter and Fr Josef Maciolek SVD who is the Provincial Superior or head of the PNG Province of Societi Verbi Divini (SVD), which is Latin for Society of the Divine Word.
The University Council chairperson Archbishop Douglas Young SVD announced the appointment of Prof Gibbs’ appointment during the last Council Meeting in July to be effective on 1st September 2019.
Professor Gibbs will be based in the main campus in Madang while the President Prof Nembou is based at the Port Moresby campus of DWU.
Professor Nembou offered her utmost appreciation to Prof Norman for her outstanding service as the Deputy President for three and half years and welcomed Prof Gibbs to the role.
Prof Nembou said her outgoing deputy is one of the most professional and astute academic leaders and administrators she has worked with and would miss her.
“She is an amazing person.”
“We all know the kind of work she does.”
“How many people 10 years, 20 years younger than her can do the kind of work she does?” Prof Nembou asked.
“She does three jobs (and) she does them all very well,” said Prof Nembou.
“This morning I want to acknowledge the support she has given me as (my) Deputy President,” Prof Nembou said.
“And on behalf of the Council, I would like to welcome Fr Philip Gibbs as the Deputy President for the next three years.
“You all know Fr Philip Gibbs.
“He has been the Vice President for Research and Higher Degrees. “He is a former member of the University Council. “He is a member of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries PNG Province and he came to the University as a member of staff starting as head of the Department of Governance and Leadership.
“We gave him the responsibilities as Vice President of Research and Higher Degrees and last July (2019) he was appointed as Deputy President.
“So I ask all of you (staff), all of us, to work together with Fr Philip,” said Prof Nembou.
The President in welcoming her new deputy also said Prof Gibbs brings with him a wealth of experience as a researcher involved in various capacities in the country besides his pastoral duties.
Sir Peter also congratulated the two professors for being outstanding professional academics for whom the DWU Council has in high regard.
Prof Norman said she was very proud to serve DWU in her role as Deputy President was also keen to be relieved of the role and concentrate on her substantive position.
Prof Norman said she is proud to have worked with many wonderful people in DWU and elsewhere after arriving in PNG from Australia during the colonial times as a teacher in 1964.
Prof Gibbs said he was pleased to take up the new role and work with the President and everyone to take the University forward.
“I will do my best,” said Prof Gibbs.
Prof Gibbs also said as a graduate of DWU, having graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) several years ago, he was keen to make a contribution as an alumnus besides his other academic, research, administration and pastoral credentials.
Photos in the image gallery below are from Dr Kevin Pamba