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Port Moresby
December 1, 2021

Students Learn in ‘Bush Material’ Classrooms

By Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae

Students in Kabwum district’s Sikam Primary have been taught in classrooms built from bush materials before the school closed, for about three months due to the drought.

The roof of three buildings are made of plastic bags which the district authority has made funding commitments to. In addition, the parents have contributed to build the school.

Sikam village is about three kilometres from Konge airstrip.

The valley community established the Sikam Primary School.

The primary school was closed early when students reportedly fainted from the heat during the dry spell.

“About five children collapsed from the heat during assembly,” said Rauke Samangao a Sikam villager, parent and a board member of the school.

He explains that the Kabwum district has been making commitments to help the school, but the parents had contributed to have the school built and in operation since 2012.

“Parents contributed and built the school using bush material, we put plastic bags on the roof but the sun wind and rain ruined it. It was part of the reason why we shut the school down.”

People in Kabwum, like many other districts around the country, haven’t received their full district funding from the National Government.

A similar story of self-reliance and independence in Konge, three kilometres from Sikam, the construction of Komba Secondary School has been put on halt till funds are available.

“The people are giving us the support, they give timber and gravel for free, our member of parliament also gave K100,000,” said Konge Head Teacher, Nemson Mangheyu who is spearheading the construction of the Komba Secondary School.

Only K100,000 out of the K500,000 commitment has been paid to the new Komba Secondary School.


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