Podomo loyal to career


A TEACHER says he has sacrificed his time, especially at night to get teaching and learning flowing smoothly for his students.
Paulon Podomo, 27, from Marofen village in North Fly District of Western, graduated with a diploma in primary teaching in 2019 from Sacred Heart Teachers College with support from the Australia Awards In-PNG Scholarships.
“Welcome home!
“Welcome to Biangabip!
“Welcome to St. Monica Primary School,” Podomo said this was the welcome he received from parents and happy children when he first arrived at St Monica Primary School when he was posted in January 2020.
The school is located in the mountains of Western which borders West Sepik and Southern Highlands.
Podomo recalled a time when the school bell rang at 7am on a Monday morning where he thought a grade three class.
“Teacher me! Teacher me!” 32 little ones went on and on with their noise pollution without realisation.
“I (tried to) understand the children and manage them,” he said.
“The one thing that pleased me was their hardworking attitude both inside and outside the classroom and their eagerness to learn.
“I tried my very best to teach more interesting lessons by going on the internet and also making good use of our beautiful environment and the few teaching and learning materials that were available to me.”
Podomo said at the beginning of term two, the head teacher had to leave, so he stepped in to teach his grade seven class of 38 students.
He said that the teaching and learning materials to teach the upper primary was limited.
“I had to sacrifice my time, especially at night to get teaching and learning flowing smoothly,” he said.
“At times I complained to myself, Why me? Why all these? But I prayed about it and performed my duties to the best of my ability.
“In 2021, I was posted back to the same school and willingly accepted to double classes again, this time grades four and eight.
“There is always a shortage of teachers every year.
“Teachers are being posted here but they refuse to come due to the remoteness of the school.
“We are only three teachers teaching five different classes at a time.
“I had to work extra hard to get the grade eight class ready for the national examinations.
“I am currently teaching at the same school for the third year now.
“There have been some important things I have encountered and achieved during these busy years.
“One of them being that I have a record in the school of producing the highest number of merit students and the highest number of grade eight students being selected for high school.
“These experiences have put me in a better position to work with confidence and effectiveness in my teaching career.
“As I share my experience, I am very thankful to the Australia Awards In-PNG Scholarships and Sacred Heart Teachers College who trained, moulded and shaped me into who I am and what am doing today.
“I am a proud teacher serving in a remote school.”