by Rachel Shishei – EM TV, Madang
The community surrounding Kauris Primary School in Madang has taken on the responsibility of purchasing teaching materials, paying for teachers’ wages and maintaining classrooms, as well as other school infrastructure.
The long wait for funds from the national government, through the education department, has not stopped the school from functioning, thanks to sheer determination and support from the locals, who ensure that students do not miss out on their education.
According to Headmaster Peter Ramsy, the school is still waiting for the promised government subsidy under the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) policy.
The headmaster and teachers expressed how grateful they are to be working in the Kauris community, where the people have taken on the school’s problems as their own. The community provides financial support for teachers and from these monies, teachers are able to pay for resource materials for daily lessons.
Mr Ramsy said this is not a new thing; the community has been helping the school since it was established in 2007 and this support has continued over the years. Four batches of grade eight students have graduated so far, with eleven from last year making it into high schools within the province.
The headmaster said that regardless of the school’s remote location, the fact that it is still running effectively with the community’s support is more than enough to keep his teachers going.
“The community has put in priceless efforts for their children’s futures and as a result, they take full ownership of what goes wrong or right with the school,” said Mr Ramsy.
Kauris Primary School has a total of 15 teachers who take elementary to grade eight classes. The community, in agreement with the school, has assigned Tuesdays of every week as community service day to gather and discuss ways to help the school.
The community has donated two trees each from their respective land boundary areas, which they’ve been gathering and carrying up to the school on Tuesdays for construction of another building. The main income source of the Kauris community is betel nut, cocoa and copra, and financial help for the school depends on the fluctuating prices of these cash crops.