Research Conducted at Elementary School Shows 118 Vulnerable Children

By Julie Badui Owa – EMTV News, Lae

St. Martins Primary School is one of the Catholic agency schools in Lae, and has a population of 552 students and 14 teachers. The school’s Head Teacher, Sakale Popen was posted here last year from St. Patricks Primary School, also in Lae.

Mr. Popen has conducted research into areas that may affect the students’ learning in class and found out that the school has 118 vulnerable children. The research was based on whether the students are living with their biological parents, and how they are supported by those they live with.

The results showed that some students indicated that one of their parents died, while most students said their parents have left them. The head teacher said the problem now is who caters for their needs, whilst it is the parents’ responsibilities.

This study is the second conducted in this school by the Head Teacher, the first was conducted at St. Patrick Primary School. Popen said he has shared the information with the National Research Institute and plans to introduce the initiative to other schools in Lae and Morobe.

The Head Teacher said everyone should work together to ensure children’s rights are protected at home, school and the community they live in.

This is a new initiative, which the Head Teacher plans to bring to the attention of the Education Division, Government Departments and Organisations to provide services for the children and parents.

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