A Central teacher living and working in Goroka says goodbye to the place he called home for more than 30 years, writes PAUL SINGE
EAST Goroka Primary School in Goroka town, Eastern Highlands province, bid farewell to its head teacher, Gwaipo Fore, who stepped down from his post after 15 years.
Students, teachers and parents bid Mr Gwaipo farewell in an emotional farewell ceremony at the school on Friday, Nov 20.
Many, especially those in Goroka town, Seigu, Genoka and Piswara settlements, were very close to Mr Fore and were saddened by the departure of the Central man and his family.
Mr Fore spent 37 years teaching in Eastern Highlands province.
Hailing from Gedobodia village in the Rigo district of Central province, Mr Fore graduated from Port Moresby Teachers’ College in 1971 and came to Eastern Highlands in January 1972 as a 23-year-old.
He taught in various schools in the province and served East Goroka Primary School for 15 years. He was instrumental in putting up most of the basic school infrastructure currently found in the school.
The school’s board chairman, Simon Parak, paid tribute to Mr Fore, saying he deserved respect for all his contributions towards developing the human resource of the province.
“Mr Fore was one of the officers who fought hard to implement the new education reform system in Papua New Guinea. He was also rated as one of the best head teachers in Eastern Highlands,” Mr Parak said.
Mr Parak called on the Government and the Education Department to seriously look into professional development of teachers who have a heart to develop PNG.
Goroka district education advisor Ian Kapu said teachers with many years of service to the country do not have good homes after retirement.
He said the PNG Teachers Association (PNGTA) must draft strategies to help them find good living conditions after they retire.
Mr Kapu said the PNGTA should have schemes to help teachers after their retirement, including setting up small businesses for retired teachers for short periods and free housing schemes.
Mr Fore said he came to EHP as a young man and would be returning as an old man this month.
The former head teacher expressed satisfaction that his 37 years in Eastern Highlands were not a waste as he contributed much towards human resource development of the province.
“Some of my products are currently occupying high positions in the country,” he said proudly.
“I am happy to depart with confidence and satisfaction.”
Mr Fore encouraged the teachers, students and parents to continue from where he has left off and urged them to respect one another.