Story and picture by JEFFREY ELAPA
GARALIGUT Primary School in a remote area of the Usino-Bundi electorate of Madang province, is only six years old.
So it was not surprising when parents wondered how they would plan the school’s first graduation early this month.
The Bil people of the Usino area had been cut off from most Government services for many years. The only service they had was the school which opened in 2004.
Many youngsters had never been to school and it was a challenge to attend the primary school because it takes at least four hours of walking to get there.
Among the students who endured was Jimmy Uguro, who went on to become a teacher. He was the keynote speaker at the graduation.
It was a significant moment for the bush people to see more than 20 of their first Grade Eight children, the pioneers, to graduate.
Two other elementary schools in the area joined in for the graduation.
Also present were Usino-Bundi deputy district administrator Robert Omesa, first headmaster of the school Wia Sere and local councillor Bob Sikasi.
Parents showed their appreciation by killing eight pigs for a feast for their children, teachers and the visitors.
Teachers were offered gifts by graduating students for their hard work.
Mr Uguro urged parents to take care of the school and work together so that many of their children could also be educated.
He said education was the way forward to the outside world.
“Study hard but come back to your remote community to make changes among the people,” he told his people in tok pisin.