School buys own materials

A primary school in Lae has used its own initiative to purchase learning materials, saying they cannot wait for the government.

Omili Primary School recently shipped their text books from Port Moresby to Lae, and are encouraging other schools to do the same.

Omili is the largest primary school in Morobe Province with over 3,000 students.

Head teacher, Mark Nanu, said prior to buying their new curriculum, three to five students can share a textbook, and eight teachers also share one resource book.

To alleviate the strain on their limited resources, Nanu went to the nation’s capital and organised for the purchase and shipping of over 3,000 new textbooks.

“Tupla sumatin mas holim wanpla teksbuk, i go inap wan pikinini ken holim wan teksbuk,” he stated. (Two students must use one textbook until textbooks are sufficient for one student per textbook.)

“Otherwise we produce a curriculum without satisfactorily meeting the students’ [needs].”

The head teacher said the materials are with the curriculum development division. Schools just need to pay their own way to Port Moresby to liaise with the Department of Education.

He added that they spent less than K4,000 to procure the materials, while shipping was K1,800.

“Department does not have the money to pay for these things to come out and satisfy every school in Papua New Guinea,” he stated. “Don’t wait for heaven to open up. You need to sweat.

“And we’re feeding Lae Secondary School, we’re feeding Busu Secondary School so we must meet the needs and demands at this moment.”

The school has eight classes each of grades three to eight, with each class having 55 to 60 students.

While their students’ learning has been greatly boosted with the shipment of new textbooks and library books, Nanu said it would take three years to fully supplement Omili’s needs.

Carmella Gware