by Quinton Alomp – EM TV, Port Moresby
The 2015 academic year has commenced, but children from Manam Island in the Madang province, and their parents and guardians, are still struggling to meet the costs of education.
It has been ten years since they resettled on mainland Bogia, after their island suffered from volcanic destruction, in 2004.
With little government assistance, children attending universities and colleges are facing the dilemma of school fees, again.
In 2004, the volcanic eruption destroyed their island, leaving the people to fend for their survival at the Mangem, Asuramba and Potsdam plantations.
Manam students attending universities, colleges and private institutions have been burdened with school fees for eleven years now.
Parents are concerned that many of their children will turn back to the village, and engage in harmful practises and unwanted behaviours.
Last November, the Madang Provincial Government presented the Manam Restoration Act to Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, to be tabled in Parliament, this year.
For the islanders, they want the Act to be passed, and hope to be resettled in a new location.