By Leonard Fong Roka
The village of Kanauro has a reputation across Buin as having a high rate of illiteracy and social upheaval.
It is one of the most populous villages in the Baubake Constituency of the Buin District in south Bougainville.
According to the Deputy Principal of Kanauro Primary School, Mr Augustine Karai, every year the academic calendar ends with some kind of parent-staff conflict over the results of the Grade 8 students.
“When a few students cannot make it through to secondary schools we, the teachers, are blamed for it,” Mr Karai said.
“For that our staff are threatened and even the school’s property is taken and it is hard to get it returned.”
In the 2014 academic year the principal, a local from the neighbouring village of Piano, was nearly beheaded by an angry parent over an accusation of misappropriation of school funds and the failure of students to secure a place in one of the secondary schools in Bougainville.
In the same year a number staff houses were broken into and teachers’ property was stolen by the local community members. According to Mr Karai the school is often subjected to aggressive confrontations by the villagers.
“The school had its grass cutter and electric generator taken by the villagers last year,” he continued.
”Because there was a delay of payment for a little maintenance work, they vandalized a few classrooms.
“A school situated in a village where its own citizens do not care about it is really difficult, thus we struggle to manage it.
“This is one of the many reasons why the school does not produce many educated persons for the community.”
Every night the 2015 staff have to get their property and food secured into their houses to avoid been stolen by the locals. During the holidays the staff engage a few trusted locals to take care of their staff houses as they go home for their breaks.
“We try to bring change,” Mr Karai said, “but when the child comes from a home that is simply socially broken down; there is nothing good education can achieve.”