Papua new Guinea Australia Partnership for Education

Basic infrastructure, basic facilities… When teachers are not here, these kids become victims and especially this part of Mount Koiari. I sometimes say this place is a forgotten world. The education has not produced enough results. The geographical location of
the school is really in a place where it sometimes makes it hard
for teachers to stay any longer here. They can’t even stay for a month here. The kids really have a problem
in giving us their experiences because they really can’t talk properly, we have a communication problem and that’s why I emphasise that there must be results here. They have a different attitude because I think in Simbu, we have no land. The child is threatened that he’ll have to go and
manage plantations in Western Highlands or wherever and kids will have to really study very hard because they know that is the only
stepping stone which is the school and that is different from this place here, Mount Koiari. They have (the) track, they have money. Sometimes, they are so stubborn. Try to talk to them to do their assessment and some of them, they don’t care and especially those ones that
are stubborn, I talk to them, I help them out and I believe that the students are
going to be somebody in the future. My wife is in Moresby with my children. It is very, very hard to leave them. Tomorrow, I can get back there to Moresby but for me to stay, is really I see that they need me more than my own children down here. Well, when you first came here we had the just a rundown staff house with rundown classrooms. The school runs down because teachers aren’t here. There’s no contact hours. Students come to school, a teacher writes one thing on the
board or he goes out farming or hunting. Kids play around and go back home. Even the infrastructure
should’ve been here years ago it came now because of some of us
who volunteered that we should stay longer. The Kokoda Initiative this year have launched new facilities at Kavovo In 2015 was the first time that I visited the school and at that time, there were only three teachers. The facilities needed to be upgraded. Since then, we opened a double classroom and a teacher’s staff house with W.A.S.H. facilities, pit toilets and taps as well But we not only do infrastructure, we equip them with those skills that they need on the job so things like, phonics training, board of management roles
and responsibilities training, financial management and that’s all being driven by the Division of
Education with the support from the Kokoda Initiative. Before, when we were in the classroom they don’t respect teachers. They don’t care whether there’s a teacher in the classroom or not. 2015, when we’re here We have only two classrooms. Whatever we need, we got it from the trekkers like pencils, biros, balls. We started off with 36 students and then this year we have a hundred plus students With K.I. things are happening so fast. The Koiari people will really be thankful for that. We had some problems when we first came here because of our cultural background the villagers cannnot open up. I, as an administrator, I like parents to be here. They contribute to the wellbeing of the school. As we live among them, we now feel that we are just part of them We can go and do anything in the village. I really find some very good
words to describe the K.I’s. They’ve been doing a lot of things here. I can’t believe it, the kids really they’ve never sat on a comfortable desk. They just, you know, smile at me. But I have very good staff who are
really committed to supporting me. I rely on them mostly, it’s just that they give me the strength to stay with them. My teachers are working very hard to increase the contact hours especially with the students. My dream is to, you know, make this school a very different place. Push this school to a next level
where we take grade nine and ten and get it to Mount Koiari High School or something and that’s my dream. Helping communities along the Kokoda Track
is a very special thing for Australia always and the opening of these classrooms, 126 students. All of whom will get a great benefit from this, the upgrading of existing ones, the new work around
W.A.S.H, water and sanitation facilities, for the school, that’s all fantastic stuff. One of those really good, practical ways in which we can engage. Through their head teacher at Kavovo through his drive and through his commitment, he has managed to encourage three new teachers to come on board since then so through the support of the Kokoda Initiative, a lot more teachers within the province
are seeing that there is quite a big change. The Mount Koiari people of Kavovo, these kids need me. That’s why I have this strength to continue to teach and hang around here. My students are lawyers now, they are pilots, I think I did my part now to really bring the country forward.

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