​Remote island lacks students’ materials

There is a big need for students’ resource books for students attending the local primary school on Bipi Island in Manus.

The island, located off the western end of mainland Manus, is isolated and logistics remain a challenge due to the high cost of fuel.

It costs K23 per gallon of zoom in Lorengau, and to get to Bipi, around 10-15 gallon is needed to travel one way.

Fuel on the island costs between K37-K40 per gallon, which makes travelling to Lorengau a very expensive exercise for the islanders.

But for students there, this is home.

Unfortunately, the remoteness of the island means they do not have access to educational materials posted on the internet or the luxury of owning or using a text book.

It also does not help when the network coverage is off for those at that end of Manus when the tower at Lesau on mainland Manus is off.

This newsroom recently caught up with teachers Bevery Sangau and Mary Peter with their students on Bipi.

The school has students from all grades in the primary school, however Sangau said the biggest challenge they face as teachers is the lack of resource or text books for each student.

Sangau said most school materials from the TFF component did not arrive on time on the island for their students.

"Sometimes the materials are damaged when they arrive here," she added.

Peter said due to the remoteness of the island, they are unable to update their libraries with materials the students need.

"We also have a big need for books and encyclopaedia to update our libraries," Peter added.

(Peter and Sangau with their students on the island during the recent water project closing)

Sally Pokiton