Eruption stops classes


THE 198 school children in Dugulava village on Manam Island did not go to school for the whole of the first term because the three teachers appointed to the school did not turn up.
Madang provincial education director Moses Sariki said the school was closed in 2005 during the major eruption when evryone on the island was shifted to the care centres at Bogia mainland.
Since then the school has remained closed till this year when the provincial education board decided to reopen it.
Dugulava ward councillor Paul Maburau said the school has been closed for 12 years which meant children born in 2005 who returned from care cares to the island after the ethnic clashes with Bogia landowners in 2010 have had no formal education up to today.
Maburau said most of them were now youths who could neither  read nor write.
“Some can hardly spell and write their own names when they wanted to get  the tents distributed by Red Cross,” he said.
Sariki said three teachers were apppointed to teach at the Bokawa Primary School at Dugulava village but did not turn up at the start of the first term this year.
Maburau said the appointed headmaster showed up at the school for two weeks and left for good.
Sariki said Bogia district education office has no education director and that was one of the reasons why there was no information on what was hapenning at the school.
He said he would investigate where the teachers were and would see what could be done next.
A number of children at the care centre interviewed said they lost interest in school becasue of the continuous volcanic activities, evacuation and fights.
If they choose to attend clases, they can go to Tabele Primary School, located near the Mandi care centre at Bogia where they are now living.
Maburau said most children who missed going to school ended up getting married earlier than expected.

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