By EREBIRI ZURENUOC
A CORRESPONDENCE study centre (CSC) in Finschhafen will be the first flexible open and distance education (Fode) centre in Morobe to graduate 60 Grade 12 students this week.
The Finschhafen Fode School in Godowa village started off in 2011 with only 15 students, and this year, enrolled more than 300 students – the highest number of students for the province.
Most of the graduating students have been having lessons in a church building and also a double classroom made of bamboo for the past four years.
Supervisor Pastor Katam Ngadup, who is not a teacher by profession, saw the need to support students who had been left out of the formal education system.
“Many of the students are Grade 10 graduates from Dregerhhafen Technical High School, Sialum High School, Pindiu High School, Wasu High School and even Nawaeb High School,” he said.
“Apart from preaching, I saw that there was more need for education in the village, as so many students were put out of the system.
“I applied to be a CSC in 2011 to help those students who cannot make it into Grade 11.”
Ngadup said despite lack of national and provincial government assistance, many students had given positive feedback.
“Over the years, we sent a few students to University of Goroka,” he said.
“Last year, some students continued on to National Polytechnic Institute in Lae and Goroka Teachers’ College.
“We have only eight teachers. They are retired educationists living in the village and they are currently working as volunteers.
“I usually give them K20 and K10 when they really need it because there is no proper funding to support them.”
Ngadup said the school had grades 10 and 12 teachers from Dregerhafen High School to oversee and support teaching.
Ngadup said from experience in managing the CSC, “there are many students who really want to go to school but couldn’t”.
“Seven students from Kabwum walked for two weeks into Finschhafen, just to find the school,” he said.
“They were enrolled and now one of them is in Chimbu Teachers’ College.”
By EREBIRI ZURENUOC