My education journey … from the Eastern Highlands
By Deli Jeffery I am the first born in my family of seven children. I come from a poor background in a remote part of the mountainous Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. My parents are subsistence farmers.
I started my education when I was four years old at my village primary school in 2000, in Sonofi about 74 kilometres from the town of Kainantu. My parents often couldn’t afford the school fees. In those years, I had to withdraw, and wait for the next year. This happened in both grades three and four.
Because of these delays, in 2010 I was still at Sonofi Primary School when it was shut down due to administrative issues – the headmaster was accused of misusing school funds. I went to my mother’s village and moved in with my aunt who was married to a primary school teacher. He was principal of the Kesevaka Primary School, which I attended, again in a very remote part of the Eastern Highlands, in Henganofi district.
In 2011, Sonofi Primary School was opened again, and I moved back to live with my parents. However, there was a great shortage of teachers. I was taught by a male teacher in a double class of grade six and seven. This was common in the school. I wasn’t learning anything, so I left the school during term one.
In term two, April 2011, I tried a third school, at another village where another aunt was living. I enrolled at the Onerungka Primary School in Kainantu district during the second term of that year. But this was also a problem school. It had been burnt down in 2002 due to political conflict. There were only three teachers at the school, and they taught two classes each. The principal taught grade six and seven. The grade seven students sat …read more