Correcting ‘A shattered dream’

Letters, Normal

The National – Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I REFER to the Weekender Storyboard article “A shattered dream” (The National, June 3).
I would like to shed some facts.
The late Richard Kini was a good man – a gentle, quiet spoken man and a friend. 
I am sure that in his personal life and in his interactions with his tambus, he was a man of action.
His village people respected him.
Obviously that had shown on the occasion of his guluma that was attended by the writer.
However, the writer’s claim that the late Kini was the initiator of the Japanese grassroots funding for the Bina Primary School is not correct.
It was not Kini who negotiated with the landowners, the Gimulu clan of Galomarubu village, as I happen to be a clan member. 
As much as I wanted to involve Kini into supporting the school initiative for the betterment of our children, Kini seem to have either followed or might have succumbed to the ideas or beliefs of the elders against moving the “top-up grades” of Bina Primary School to a new location, a move that would have made the children of Riwali, Babagrubu and Galoma benefit greatly.
If it was Kini’s dream of building a new school as stated by Storyboard, he had a funny way of supporting or showing it as he was the one who tried to take out a court order to restrain me from officially opening the classrooms and staging a protest on the day of the official launching.
A letter of threat was also sent to the ambassador of Japan by late Kini, warning the ambassador not to attend the occasion.
These are embarrassing facts but must be said to give the truth.
But if it was Kini’s wish and inner thought, then I hope his people should give it some thought and give it some meaningful action.
Storyboard would have to ask people in authority (Education Department) and the community to confirm this.
For the benefit of Storyboard, the Japanese funding was to build 4×2 double classrooms for the purposes of housing the top-up school for Bina primary.
At that time, and I believe the situation has not changed in the last 10 years, the classrooms were in a very sorry state.
As a past student of Bina prima­ry and a beneficiary of a Japanese government (Monbusho) scholarship programme, I wanted to assist the school and made a proposal with the assistance of API Ltd to design the classrooms with funding amounting to K167,000 which was successfully granted.  
With the tireless efforts of the men from Galomarubu village, the classrooms were completed.
For Storyboard’s benefit, before the buildings were erected at the present grounds, a technical team from the Education Department had meetings with the school explaining the magnitude of development that was planned could not be catered for at the foothills (current location of the school).
To accommodate what was planned required excavation and earth moving which would cost money.
Given the fact that the money secured for building the classrooms was without excavation costs, it was only logical that the classrooms were built where they are.
The provincial education board, therefore, approved the relocation and erection of the classrooms.
After all, one would be asking what difference would it made that children from Galomarubu village walk a mile up to Riwali for classes and why not the students from Riwali/Babgarubu walk down for a mile?
Or is it better to walk 10km (as they are doing now) to attend the nearest high school at Kemabolo?
Which is better, to walk 10km or attend school at your doorstep?
It is a shame that the basics of development, such as education, are rejected by the people.


Edward G. Manu
Port Moresby