Lae Teachers Threatened

The delay in issuing the certificates of Lae Community College students has posed serious risks to the teachers’ welfare.

Staff at Lae’s Flexible Open and Distance Education office are being threatened by frustrated former students and their parents.

Students who graduated from the Lae Community College since 2018 are yet to receive their Grade 10 and 12 certificates.

Head teacher, Cephas Malum, said despite their numerous emails, calls and visits to the Flexible Open and Distance Education headquarters at Waigani, the certificates of students from 2018 to 2021 are yet to be sent to Lae.

With no way of progressing in their respective paths, frustrated students have started threatening and intimidating staff at the college.

Malum said on Monday, March 7th, a group of police officers and matriculation students from the 2018 batch confronted him outside the school’s premises.

“They even threatened me,” he stated.

“Police threatened me and said ‘Yu pasim maus, yu mas mekim wok blo yu’. I told them, it’s not a criminal matter. I told them, it’s not us, it’s the administration at headquarters. You cannot threaten our lives.”

Deputy head teacher, Agnes Mulo Gewa, stressed on the need to award students their certificates so they can move on with further studies or seek employment.

“The delay in the printing and distributing of certificates after two years of studies at FODE makes parents – and even the students themselves – become so frustrated. They are not moving on as normal as other students from the conventional schools.”

Gewa urged the FODE headquarters to treat the issue as a matter of urgency.

“If that can be done within this month, or next month, so that all the outstanding certificates since 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 should all be sent in so that we can give them out to the students and we don’t get any more threats and we can have this school running smoothly.”

Carmella Gware