Posts Categorized: Education

Homebrew and marijuana use impacting education

By Maryanne Hanette

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In Bougainville, especially North specifically in the Haku constituency, consumption of homebrew and marijuana is at high rate and is creating negative outcomes for the local community

This is a serious topic of discussion today for the people of this area because of the way youths and school age youths are behaving towards the society today.

There has been an upsurge of youth consumption of drugs by 50% compared to previous years.

This issue has been an on-going issue. It has led to aggressive behaviours by youths in the communities and students’ unacceptable practices in the constituency, including fighting among students, rape cases and murder.

For the school age youths of this area it has affected their academic performance. Grades have dropped to a very low level in school as a result of the high rate of absenteeism in class.

Mr Martin Takali, Principal at Hutjena Seconday School, explained that each year two to three students are expelled from school and sent home.

“Majority of the students consuming marijuana at Hutjena Secondary are students from Haku”, said Mr Takali.

Few students in this area further their education at tertiary institutions, with many exiting after grade 10 or 12.

Though there is a good number of the population are well educated there is still many of them roaming around in the village doing nothing.

Youths and students of this area take part in homebrew and marijuana consumption because no one goes there to educate them at a high standard and to their level about drug and its impacts

Many of them have their own reasons as to why they are consuming homebrew and marijuana, but the responsibility lies within the parents and the elders or chiefs in the village.

If the environment is full of these types of activities, like homebrew produced right in the village and selling of marijuana, then students or youths will never say no in consuming drugs because it is right in front of their eyes.

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Kieta students celebrate National Book Week

By Tevu Tenasi

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National book week is a special event in Bougainville schools and throughout Papua New Guinea as a whole.

Each year has a different theme that looks into the significance of the books and reading and students are encouraged to put up displays on the importance of this event.

The theme for the 2016 National Book Week is an acronym of READ:
Read
Educate
Advance; and
Develop

This laid down a challenge to many schools in Bougainville. Kurai Primary School in Kieta District is one of the schools that was opened just after the crisis and students are being encouraged in the love and joy of reading by their teachers.

“Reading has been the main ingredient behind many well educated and successful people today,”  said one teacher from the school.

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15-year-old Deloudge Willis, who’s in grade 7, expressed her gratitude in line with the theme.

“Reading makes a big difference to my learning capacity,” she said.

She also mentioned that, for a better future, students should engage in lots of reading.

 

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Elutupan Primary upgrades saksak classrooms

By Maryanne Hanette

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Classrooms at Elutupan Primary School have undergone an upgrade to replace the saksak roofs that had been used for over two decades.

Elutupan is the first village encountered when travelling along the Buka ring-road from Buka town to Haku Constituency.

Elutupan Primary School was known as Elutupan Community School until the early 1990s, when it was relocated from Hatapa to its present location, some kilometres away from the main road.

Since the school did not have enough classrooms to cater for the increasing population the parents built saksak houses to be used as classrooms for the lower primary school, in which the roof is made from woven sago palm leaves.

When came to the rainy season they had no choice but sit inside their classrooms where  they had to step on the wet muddy floor when moving around.

Despite the fact that the lack of proper school buildings the school has a reputation as producer of good students and typically has a good number of students passing out from the primary school.

The school has improved a lot in terms of building new staff housing, and proper classrooms for the students to use.

A double classroom (pictured) was built in early 2016 and the community has acknowledged the hard work of the school’s Board of Management, including the Head of the School.

This is one of the greatest developments the school has seen and it is now the responsibility of the community of Elutupan to appreciate this and look after the school property for the current and future generations.

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Tinputz school back on track 

By Benjamin Heribeths

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Tinputz High School has resumed classes and the school community is now eagerly anticipating the completion of a 4-in-1 classroom.

The school returned to its original location and resumed operations following a two month suspension of activities relating to a land dispute.

Since school moved, the arguments and disputes came to an end and parents, students, teachers and other stakeholders of the school were happy to work in an argument free area.

Students started having classes in a temporary building while waiting the new 4-in-1 classroom which is still under construction. It is expected to be completed by the end of this term.

A new Tinputz High School board of governors has also been approved by the Bougainville Education Board. The original board of governors was dismantled by the Bougainville Education Board and  parents approved the new one from the direction of the BEB and the Catholic office in Hahela.

Following a meeting of school parents on Monday 22 August 2016, the new board of governors is up and running.

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Buin girl represents Bougainville at DBTI cultural show

By Pauline Karalus

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My younger sister, Imelda Karalus from Buin, represented her region as Miss Bougainville at the Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) cultural show, which was held in Port Moresby in July.

Hailing from one of the remote places in Buin, South Bougainville, Imelda Karalus brought great joy to the Karalus family when she was born on 10 of October 1994, the fourth child in the family.

As a toddler, just like many other kids, most of her days were spent with grandparents and we would regularly fight over toys and other things. As time went though we became inseparable, growing up together and she became the sister who would always volunteer and help out whenever I needed a hand.

She was better than me at everything we did together and the best part of life was that we both went to school together. I always scored lower grades than her, but I was always proud of her and would consult her whenever I needed help with homework.

This was unappealing to my parents, but they just had to accept it as time went by.

Imelda and I remained in the same class until our Dad passed away and we had to split classes, this was not what we wanted, but what our mum wanted and we never had a choice that time.

Presently, I’m in my fourth and final year of studies year at Divine Word University (DWU), while she is doing her third year at Don Bosco Technical Institute.

The conversations and humorous jokes via phone and social media sites close the gap between Madang and Port Moresby that separates us and fills the atmosphere with peace, love and entertainment.

Imelda is a cultural and social being who is heavily involved in social activities, both educational and spiritual. She updates me on any workshop she attends with details of how and when things got done.

Just recently she texted me saying she had volunteered to be Miss Bougainville representing the Bougainville students of DBTI during the cultural show.

In 2015, she contested and was crowned Miss Tumbuna after the judges finalised their scores and this year my sweet little sister was crowned Miss Tumbuna again.

I’m so proud of you Imelda Karalus, my best playmate since childhood days. I know you have the potential to explore unfamiliar regions in life and you are not afraid of heights. Keep it that way sister!

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Students chip in to cover uni fees

840-karalusBy Pauline Karalus

Bougainvillean students in Madang have come together to contribute to the fee payments for students whose expected government tuition funding had not come through.

Several Bougainvillean students Goroka, Port Moresby and Madang had been instructed not to attend classes as institutions await tuition fee payments.

The University of Goroka, Divine Word University and Pacific Adventist University all continued to offer classes despite the political turmoil which saw the academic suspension of two state universities.

Several Divine Word University students under the sponsorship of Hon. Joe Lera were advised by the administration of the university to stay out of classes until they paid the second semester fee of K2700.

Fortunately the issue got resolved within the last grace period, which ended 29 of July, as Bougainville students with excess school fees in their accounts volunteered to help out the less-fortunate ones, who were on the verge of being handed a withdrawal form.

The students had been out for lectures for almost two weeks and have missed out on a lot.

The university had fully disabled the students online accounts disabled which, as DWU is paperless university, has handicapped them from studying. There is nothing for them to do without access to the online lecture notes as reference for assignments and quizzes.

Many students are completely reliant on sponsorship to pay school fees and did not have the resources to settle the fee issue independently.

With the fee issue out the way, focus has turned finishing off the academic year on a high note.

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Bougainville’s unique house styles

By Gideon Davika

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House building is one the skill that is abided by in the cultures and customs in Bougainville that young boys must possess as they grow up.

One typical style has high posts and the features of it will signify or differentiate it from many bush material family houses in the villages.

These houses are built are materials such as sawn timber or timber that is sharpened with knife from certain trees found in the forest.

The roofs are made from sago leaves with broom sticks removed from the spine of the leaf itself.

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The walls are weaved in patterns from bamboo that has been smashed with small axes.

In the past, traditional houses were built in a simplest way from the materials available from the bush. Presently, houses can be constructed using the latest carpentry techniques that young Bougainvilleans attain from attending vocational schools or technical colleges.

They build stylish bush material houses which stand out in the communities and often combine traditional and modern methods of building houses.

Bougainville’s modern bush material houses are an attraction for many outside visitors to Bougainville.

 

 

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Lera funds tuition fees

822-lera-assistanceBy Pauline Karalus

Tuition fees have been sky rocketing for the past few years and it has been a great burden for single parents trying to put their children through higher institutions within the nation.

Even for working class people is still remains part of the burden brought out about by rental fees and power bills.

Education, which is a highly compulsory for young Bougainvillian elites, is left unconsidered and insignificant for many local people as the fees are unaffordable.

Most of these elites end up in the villages or urban centers raising funds to support themselves.

There are outstanding politicians who do have a heart for the future of Bougainville and are doing everything they can to send the unlucky batch institutions they have been selected to.

Hon. Joe Lera MP is one of these significant leaders who had been such a great help to both the parents and students who really needed such funds. He continues to supports students who need financial support each year.

Students who need financial help apply for tuition fee assistance at the beginning of each academic year. A notice is put out for the general public and it is then individual matter to make an attempt in applying for tuition fees. This indirectly molds individuals to take ownership and responsibility over their education.

An attachment of the latest transcript or certificate of attainment as evidence that a particular student is already in an institution or has just finished from secondary school is dropped in at the respective office in between the due date the committee holds a meeting. The committee then selects the students eligible to be assisted as requested in individual letters included in the requirements package.

Great joy filled the hearts of parents of those whose names appeared on the approved assistance funding list that came out in mid-June.

Mr Lera again has done so much for the people of his beloved province. The list indicated each student was supported with an amount of K3000 which is very appreciated by those who have been struggling all along.

Each institution had a list of its students who applied for assistance and have been approved to be assisted with the amount indicated on the paper. Divine Word University alone had 22 of its students who applied and were accepted.

Words cannot express how glad these students are. Most of them are self-sponsored students and according to statements from one of these students they still have outstanding fees and this fund payment will pay off this debt. There is no need to stress over incomplete school fees anymore.

A great thanks to Hon. Joe Lera MP for such a relief. Without him most of these young people would find great difficulties in focusing on their studies.

 

 

 

 

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Tinputz High School suspended after principal is robbed

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

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Tinputz High School located in the Tinputz-Taonita constituency went on a two-week suspension in June. The closure at the newly established school came as a result of the lack of Tuition Fee Free (TFF) support from the Department of Education.

There were other schools in Bougainville that experienced the same problem, but it was particularly concerning at Tinputz High as it seeks to become a fixture in the community.

It has been a rocky beginning for the new school and apart from the TFF dispute, there has been division over land between the chairman and the principal.

There were options after the two-week suspension. The first option was for teachers to move out to other schools or, alternatively, they could stay and start it in a different location.

The student leaders of the school argued last week that the people of Tinputz talk a lot and does not put into practice. They said that the people must think about their education and not bring other issues in to it, because they are the ones who were fully affected at the end of the day.

Just before the suspension some people from the village broke into the principal’s house and stole his belongings. Teachers told the ducation office in Buka that the people of Tinputz either don’t want the new Tinnputz High School or do not want the teachers or their children to get educated.

After the incident, Principal Steven Nobi, went to the education office and the office authorised him to go on suspension while awaiting these problems to get solved.

A formal letter explaining the situation and the reasons was accepted by the office and Tunputz High school went on suspension.

“I feel sorry for the students,” said Mr Vincent Alusi, speaking to the teachers, “but the situation which is beyond our control lead us this way.”

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Bougainville girls in Madang embrace the semester break

By Pauline Karalus

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After sleepless nights of revision and stress leading in to two weeks of semester one examinations, the Bougainville students at Divine Word University students welcomed their two-week semester break.

While students from nearby such as Morobe and the Highlands region provinces without hesitation hitch bus rides home to their loved ones, Bougainville seems miles away and way too expensive for Bougainville students to grab a ticket and being home for just two weeks would be a waste of precious money.

Students stay back on campus and are responsible for finding ways to get themselves busy and entertained during the weeks where the campus looks deserted and lifeless.

For this semester break the students are fortunate to have an entertainer around, Sr Stephanie, who hails from Siwai District in the South Bougainville and had been with the Holy Spirit Sisters Congregation. Sr Stephanie soon found holiday chores for these beautiful black angels to get them motivated and have a fun-filled holiday, apart from the normal routines of sleeping, eating and individual or group movie marathons.

Sr Stephanie has a close relationship with the Bougainvillian students, especially the girls. She is our motivator who encourages us to focus on our studies and in addition to always maintain our daily prayer lives.

She once told us about a vegetable project she was thinking of starting on a small piece of land next to the sister’s convent. Bombarded with school work we have never had the time to lend Sr Stephanie a helping hand.

One Saturday morning, we spread out over the little area she wants to cultivate vegetables on and cleared the place up. Sr Stephanie allowed us to use their grass knives and also provided refreshments during the two hours work. Starting at 8:00 am we worked till 10:00 and by then the whole area was cleared the way she wanted it.

The entire two hours’ work was all fun-filled and enjoyable for everyone of us, as phone cameras went flashing upon individual or group poses with hands and legs covered in dirt from working. This was a significant entrance into the arena of upcoming semester work activities for us as holiday makers here in the campus.

As a token of appreciation Sr Stephanie invited us for an early lunch with her in the Convent kitchen. With a friendly Sr around most of us have now had the chance to see the inside of the convent. Sr Stephanie prepared delicious foods which did a great job filling our empty stomachs after a morning without breakfast.

The food was delicious and we all enjoyed it together with the laughter brought about from funny jokes and teasing. Opened and closed with a word of prayer from two of the girls from the group thanked the good Lord for such wonderful happenings that brings us joy. We started our semester break just great and we look forward to a more fun-filled semester break with Sr Stephanie’s presence.

 

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