The National – Tuesday, July 5, 2011
By YVONNE HAIP
CHILDREN are being deprived of their right to education by the absence of teachers at Hangai, a church area supervisor said.
The Hangai community at Mamusi, on the border of Western Highlands, Madang and East Sepik is still waiting for teachers posted to the school to turn up.
The students are still waiting to be enrolled.
It is the only community school in the area that was discovered in the late 18th century and received its first government services – the primary school and an aid post – in 2005.
The area is only accessible by air and the people still practise traditional ways of living, with limited western influence.
The Seventh-Day Adventist and Baptist churches are the only signs of outside influence in the area.
SDA Western Highlands area supervisor Pastor Mark Hom Ongol, who visited the area last week, said there was a need for teachers there.
He said in the SDA’s five-year plan, they would establish much needed health and education services.
He said the SDA moved into the area in 2008 and although the people “are rightfully from Madang, they are being provided a few services by the Western Highlands”.
He voiced concern that children who were supposed to be in school were still at home because of the lack of teachers.
He said homes built for teachers by the community had never been occupied and were now unusable and needed maintenance, while the playing ground was overgrown with grass.
Ongol said in areas the government was not able to reach, it should provide funding for the churches that were already working there.