- My Community
I am from a village called Kokopi in the Okapa District of the Eastern Highlands in Papua New Guinea.The village is remote and takes about three hours to excess to the nearest town/city.The livelihood is still ancestral whereby most people are not familiar to modern concepts.It needs education,health and road infracture to improve the lifestyles as at the moment the above are lacking. The community is comprise of 6 large villages called: Kizo,Hafaru,Numparu,Izakamaifa,Kosao and Kagufi with a population of over 5000 people. The community live in harmony with each other,sharing in communial activities and special ceremonies and speak the same language which is called Kanite. The area is untouched by outsiders /foreigners therefore the rivers,jungles,fauna, caves and scenic sights are yet to be put on the map.The people are rich in culture and live with the nature daily. There had been discoveries of high grade gold deposits which might attract outside interest to the community which I am also becoming restless of as I am the principle land owner as a result of being the 7th generation from my ancestors as well as the pioneer elit from that community!(If anyone out there want to know more about the gold can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org)
Road link,Aidposts and Schools were in exsistance in the early 1970s,however these services have defunct when the patrol officers and Local Government system was changed to Provincial Government system in the mid 1980s. The community has plenty to eat as they grow tradional crops such as sweet potatoes,bananas,taro,corn,bean,sugar cane,and introduced vegies such as cabbage,carrot,tomatoe,garlic brocoli and English Potatoes which are grown for local markets. I Love going back to the village for Christmas vacations as there are always feasts related to weddings,funneral and,innitiation ceremonies and related activities are kept for christmas periods.
I am regarded as an important person by my community as I was one of the first person from my area to become a high school teacher after completing my 3 years course at a college called Goroka Secondary school Teachers' College in 1984.After working for 6 years I went to UPNG in 1991 to do further studies in Education Administration.Igraduated in 1992 and went back to the field to teach.The highest post I held during my career was the position of a Headteacher from 1998 -2001. I love teaching and sports very much as I was a talented sportsman back at school resulting in taking up Physical education as one of my subjects to teach. I have no formal training in computer so my computer skills are limited and I am learning everytime there is an opportunity. I am proud to be a teaher and teach the truth though it is very demanding. I have the ambition to become a writer but it seems too far away as there is no free time for a committed teacher.I spent my weekends with students' sports programmes since I became a teacher and still I am today (2008). I served the National Department of Education for 15 years [1985 to 2001]and resigned in 2001 to contest in the PNG National Elections in 2002.I came 3rd in the field of 49 candidates in my electorate of Okapa. After that I did not go back to teaching as I needed to assess my next pathways.I decided to go into NGO organisations so I joined The Salvation Army Church to help start up the Army schools in 2005.
I now work with the Salvation Army Church Flexible Open and Distance Education [FODE]section as a Director.The Salvation Army is an international Christian Denomination.Apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ,it deals with many social activities like health,education and agriculture.Most often people mistaken the church for a charity organisation! My is position is very unigue as I deal with students of all ages ranging from 14 year olds to 60 year olds. Most of the students come from the squater settlements in the city,while others come to upgrade their grade 10 results maybe to pursue further education as the centre provides the opportunity for up graders programme. Twenty per cent (20%) of the students are workers which includes the Salvation Army Pastors. I am now in the processes of negotiating with the National FODE Head Office to allow the Salvation Army Registered Study Centre [RSC)to offer Adult Matriculation Studies. This means Registered Study Centres [RSC]in PNG do not offer Matriculation studies,only Provincial centres do. The Army centre is an exceptional case whereby it has almost everything from experience teachers,classrooms,Science Laboratory, fully equiped Home Science room to a 30 seater computer lab. Further I am planning also to have a full time computer school at a reasonable rate so that unfortunate people who could not have excess to expensive computer schools could excess to as currently only FODE students are having Introductory and Basic Computing studies apart from their normal studies.
As PNG moves into technological age everyone is talking about being literate in computer and other IT sources .I think the move about going into Computer school is very important as it will help many unfortunate people. Most importantly the Salvation Army Pastors who are already coming to the centre constantly for part - time lessons on computer will benefit most apart from the general public.