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June 21, 2021
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Cancer not taught in schools

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by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

Cancer is not taught in schools throughout Papua New Guinea.

This was highlighted by a teacher and students from the Lealea Primary School in Central Province during the launching of the Healthy Teens School Program by the Papua New Guinea Cancer Foundation. (PNGCF)

In an interview with the students and their teacher after the cancer education and awareness program, each student said they do not have cancer lessons as part of their studies.

They said under the Personal Development course, they are taught on other health issues including Tuberculosis (TB), HIV & AIDS and others but not cancer.

Backing the students, was their grade 7 Math and Science teacher, Mr David Kerago.

Mr Kerago said cancer is not taught at their school and so as other schools throughout Papua New Guinea.

He said all schools in the country are using the same curriculum therefore are not teaching cancer in schools.

“We are using the same curriculum, so students throughout the country are also not taught on cancer relating topics”.

He said other health topics are taught under the Personal Development course however, sadly cancer is not one of them despite it been an important health issue.

“Yes, we have Personal Development (PD) lessons and when it comes to diseases, they include TB and HIV AIDS and other diseases but for cancer….there is nothing for cancer…”.

But now with the knowledge he received from the cancer education and awareness program, Mr Kerago said the Education Department should include cancer as part of the courses, to be taught in schools.

“I think they should include cancer as part of the lesson”.

The students and their teacher said they learnt so much from the cancer awareness and education program, and commend PNG Cancer Foundation for the opportunity.

Mr Kerago said with all that he learnt today, he is prepared to be an advocate of cancer in his family and the community as well. The same sentiment was shared by the students.

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