By DOROTHY MARK
Dugulava villagers on Manam Island in Madang will reopen their school for the first time since the volcanic eruption of 2004.
Madang Catholic education secretary Bruno Tulemanil said the agency has assigned three teachers to teach in Bokawa Primary School in Dugulava village next year.
“We have assigned three teachers and we are yet to visit the village to see what’s on the ground,” he said.
He said Bokawa was a Catholic agency school which was why the agency has assigned teachers there.
More than 300 children weredeprived of formal education when the disaster occurred.
Dugulava village ward councillor Paul Maburau said the students tried going to the nearest school when they were at the care centre in Tobenam village in Bogia from the end of 2004 to 2009 but the long walk made them give up.
Maburau said that after the ethnic clash with the locals at Tobenam they were moved back to the island in 2009 and almost all their children have had no formal education since then.
Most of these children became orphans when 21 parents died of cholera in 2010.
The only thing they could do was to be alert to escape another volcanic eruption, find food and make gardens to survive and make copra to earn an income.
Maburau said that in the last general election many of their young people were not able to read or write and had to be helped by their parents and other elders.
Maburau said education was a major concern for the village leaders.
He appealed to Bogia MP Robert Naguri and the Government to help them build teachers’ houses and classrooms for their children’s education.
“Organisations like the Digicel Foundation could also visit our village and help us because we desperately need this service,” Maburau said.
By DOROTHY MARK