By Quinton Alomp, EM TV, Port Moresby
Teachers in rural Maramuni district in Wabag, Enga province, are performing multiple tasks, apart from teaching.
With limited government services, no law enforcers, pastors and medical practitioners, teachers are on the frontline dipping their hands in fields unrelated to their profession.
Despite this, Jerry Yakapun, headmaster of Wailep community school, with fellow Teachers from neighbouring Ilya community school, Jacky Lomean and Kelvin Punangi said they are loving it.
The teachers are from Wabag central.
Their services in Maramuni are distinctively different from teachers who teach in urban and semi-urban areas.
They are multi tasked, performing duties they never trained to perform.
“Everyday we face challenges. We work as teachers, health workers, carpenters, and police,” Yakapun said.
They assist with first aid and teach people on hygiene and sanitation.
Jackie says sometimes they act as magistrates solving problems for the community.
“It took us three days to walk to the school in Maramuni” Jackie said.
Tribal conflict has been high in this part of the district in the last 20 years, but these brave teachers are amongst those who have taken the challenge to change perceptions.
“Literateness is almost absent in these areas. I have fathers in my class,” Yakapun said.
Last Friday, they were presented with five chainsaws to build new classrooms and aid post at Maramuni.
Local MP, Robert Ganim, purchased these chainsaws and 16 sawmills for the schools and health centres in Wabag district, at a tune of K1 million.
Another K3 million was parked in a hardware for these schools and health centres to get building materials.
Ganim said education has been restored finally, and he will continue to improve government services into the area, which has been neglected for the past 22 years.