Teachers bound for Ramu unable to leave Mt Hagen

National, Normal

EIGHTEEN teachers, and their families, posted to three primary schools in the Middle-Ramu district in Madang province are stranded in Mt. Hagen, Western Highlands province.
The teachers said they could not take up their positions on time as their chartered flight, provided by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), said no planes would be landing on the  airstrip in Middle Ramu.
Graduate teacher Jerryson Keng said they had arrived in Mt Hagen in late December.
Mr Keng said the plane to bring them to their destination was charted by the Middle-Ramu LLG president.
“Sometimes, the MAF would say there was no aircraft available when we insisted we had a chartered flight.
“Other days, when we turn up at the MAF office in Kagamuga Airport to check, we are told to show up the next day.
“This has been going on since last week and we haven’t got any positive or  relieving response from MAF,” he said.
Mr Keng also expressed concerned that they had missed the start of the school year and classes had been delayed.
Asked whether the provincial education office in Madang was aware of their problem, he said he was unsure.
When asked why they had to travel up to Mt Hagen instead of flying in from Madang; Mr Keng said it is cheaper to fly from Mt Hagen.
When contacted by The National MAF denied knowledge of a chartered flight or payment from the teachers.