By DOROTHY MARK
A FAMILY in a remote part of Ramu Sugar in Madang had double joy last week when both
father and daughter sat for their grade 8 and 10 national examinations.
Gilbert Ragi had wanted to complete his formal education for a long time.
He dropped out of grade 8 in a primary school near Ramu Sugar town.
He returned home.
Like most other boys in his village, he married early and raised his four children.
After letting his children go through to primary schools, he decided to complete his own education.
Ragi enrolled at Walium Reformation Flexible Open Distance Education (Fode) Centre in 2015 to upgrade his school marks and do grade 9.
He was one of the adult students who sat for the grade 10 national exams among hundreds across the country.
On the other side of the Finnisterre Range, in a primary school in Raicoast, his elder daughter Joyce sat for her grade 8 exams.
The Ragi family had a reason to celebrate their achievement last week.
Walium Reformation Fode Centre director Ps Joseph Itaki said not only students in the main line schools sat for the 2018 national exams: Those under Fode institutions also did.
Forty-seven students from his school sat the exams at Walium government station in Usino-Bundi district.
Itaki said 18 grade 10 and 29 Grade 12 students sat the same exams as other students in the existing main line high and secondary schools.
He said those students who sat the exams were those considered dropouts from grades 8 and 10.
They upgraded their subject marks and studied for two years before they sat the exams.
Parent Marria Newman said Fode system of education was no difference from the formal system.
“The only difference is that formal students depend on teachers and Fode students depend heavily on books,” she said.
Newman said Flexible Open Distance Education E students were both school-aged students and adults who saw no boundaries for education.
Itaki encourage more students to enroll at Fode centres in 2019.
Madang provincial education director Moses Sariki said there were lots of ways students could go around to continue their education: Fode was one of them.
By DOROTHY MARK