GOLD COAST - Finally, could it be that there is some
light at the end of a very long tunnel.
I have previously written to Federal and State governments about
the desirability for Papua New Guineas main lingua franca,
Pidgin English (or Tok Pisin), to be listed as an optional
subject taught in our schools along with Indonesian, Mandarin and
After consistently being rejected at all levels of government
from the Gillard school curriculum review to state government
education department level, there suddenly seems to have been a
breakthrough in common sense.
On page 28 of yesterdays The Australian newspaper in
the higher education section, there appeared Sean Powells article
Want to speak Tok Pisin? ANU offers more regional
Apparently Tok Pisin is now to be ranked along with
Burmese and Mongolian and offered by the ANUs Open Universities
Australia as one of 14 languages in both short and degree length
The courses will have a blend of online and face-to-face
The Dean of the ANUs College of Asia and the Pacific, Professor
Michael Wesley, says competency in regional languages will play a
decisive role in shaping our future world.
As Raymond Sigimet said in PNG Attitude this morning,
"For the average Papua New Guinean, if a foreigner can communicate
using Tok Pisin, the foreigner is already considered a
The Director of the ANUs school of history, culture and
language, Professor Simon Haberle, considers mono-lingual
Australians are at a disadvantage.
Journalist Sean Powell didn't quite get the research right,
however, referring to Tok Pisin as PNG's native
Its not a native or vernacular language, of course, being a
lingua franca, and one of PNGs four official languages
sitting alongside English, Hiri Motu and Braille.
The devil will be in the detail. Who will develop the Tok
Pisin curriculum for the ANU and who will be present the
subject and assignments?
Bihain bai yumi lukim laga? Well find out soon enough,