By DOROTHY MARK
More than 1000 Dugulava villagers affected by the Manam Island volcanic eruptions since 2004 remain uneducated, according to local leaders.
Parents and villagers leaders are worried and concerned that almost all their children and grandchildren between the ages of seven and 20 do not have any form of formal education.
“Those children, who were yet to start school before the 2004 eruption, and those born after the eruption in the care centres and here in the village do not read and write,” village leader John Wadamong said.
“There’s going to be a wide gap now between the educated population of this village and the next educated group.
“The longer it takes for us to have a school in the village, the wider the gap grows.”
Village councillor Paul Maburau said Dugulava children were unfortunate not to go to school as they were prone to disasters.
Meanwhile, three teachers who left Bokawa Primary School on Manam before the volcanic eruption in April this year have been taken off the payroll.
Madang provincial education adviser Moses Sariki said he was informed of the teachers’ early disappearance at Potsdam care centre after the villagers were evacuated from the island.
Sariki said investigation into the case of the three teachers was going on while they were off the payroll.
He said the provincial education board would not open the school this year because it was nearing the end of the year.
Sariki said the school would reopen next year depending on the volcanic situation on the island.
By DOROTHY MARK