By HELEN TARAWA
Aidah Robert, 25, from Malapau village in Kokopo, East New Britain teaches at the Tufi Primary School in Ijivitari, Northern.
This is her second year of teaching after graduating with a Diploma in Primary Teaching certificate from the Gaulim Teachers College in East New Britain.
“I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to help the younger generation improve their learning skills. I like working with children. It motivated me to take up teaching.”
She is the second youngest in a family of three boys and three girls.
Aidah had attended the YWCA kindergarten in Tabubil, Western when her father Robert Tobaining was working with the Ok Tedi Mining Limited in early 2000.
She was about six years old at that time. Her family later returned home to East New Britain where she attended the Kokopo Anglican Elementary School from 2003 to 2005.
She attended the Bitapetep Primary School from Grade Three in 2006 to Grade Eight in 2011.
Aidah was selected for Grade Nine at the Vunapope Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Secondary School in 2012. She completed Grade 12 in 2015.
In 2016, she was offered a place at the Gaulim Teachers College in East New Britain.
“When filling my school leaver forms, I had to consider the financial status of my parents since my father had left work.
“I was supposed to take up a business accounting course at the Divine Word University. But I opted for teaching instead. I was also interested in primary teaching so I chose the Gaulim Teachers College.”
She was fortunate to be offered the Government’s Higher Education Contribution Assistance Scheme for three years.
“ Dealing with children who come from broken homes is a challenge. We laugh, cry and work together. It has made me stronger.”
She also met a friend Philip Angoro at the college.
“We competed our training together and decided to teach in a remote area to gain more experience. So we chose Tufi which was far from our parents.
“Teachers in Tufi cooperate. Even the parents are helpful and supportive and the environment is very nice.
“Although I’ve only been in the teaching career for two years, I have encountered many issues with children who have problems. But it gave me the strength to keep working harder.”
She plans to teach her current Grade Six class until they reach Grade Eight before she returns to her province.
“The standard of schools in East New Britain is higher. We want to gain experience in a remote school and we chose to be here regardless of the challenges.”
She also plans to get a teaching degree from Gaulim later.
“I really enjoy my studies at Gaulim. I appreciate how the school had taught me to know the dignity of being a woman.”
She loves the choice she made to join the noble profession.
“Teaching is a great job. And dealing with children who come from broken homes is a challenge. I have learnt some very important lessons in my first two years. We laughed, cried and worked together. It has made me stronger.
“My advice to young teachers is to be a real teacher for the little beautiful hearts. We are the nation builders. We can work together to change this country.”