The real human division is this; the luminous and the shady. To diminish the number of the shady, to augment the number of the luminous,- that is the object. That is why we cry: Education! science! To teach reading, means to light the fire; every syllable spelled out sparkles.
Ever since the inception of OIPNG it has been involved with education.
Recently, Karie started tutoring and facilitating a FODE (formerly CODE) school for the ApMa people. FODE (Flexible Open and Distance Education) is a program to allow those who cannot attend a reguler school to still obtain their highschool diplomas.
Many students in PNG drop out before completing highschool and because students are not allowed to be married it is impossible for most adults to ever get their diplomas once they drop out. So along comes FODE, a correspondance school that, in theory, will allow older students or those otherwise unable to attend a typical school to still complete their studies. FODE is grade 7-12 plus a matriculation program that is kinda like AP for grades 11 and 12.
When I came in 2017 Karie asked me if I’d like to help her teach a couple of the classes. Teaching is one of my passions so I immediately agreed. At the end of last year all students were required to write essays on various topics as part of their final exams. Some of them made us cry, others made us laugh. One reminded us of the importance of what we’re doing. I’m sharing it here for all of you.
Dreaming of Education
Since 1996 I completed my grade six at Samban community school. Than I was not selected to go to Angoram High School. Some of my class mates were seleted a they went to Angoram High Chool to continue on their education. I was very worried During that time there was a Topu Up school at Gawien in the Angoram districk. I asked my father If I could go there for school. But he said that he has no money to buy my school fees. That makes me very dissapointed and very sad.
This happen in early 1997 when I was 18 years old. These thought bring me into doing bad things like smoking marijuana and drinking home brew. But I am still thinking of schooling That really upset me. From 1998 to 1999 I started doing bad activities with the other village boys in and around the Samban area. In October 1999, I went to Lae city stayed there doing nothing. I lived there almost four years.
In 2005 I came back to Samban and got married to a Paniten lady. In 2008 I joined the OIPNG and became a level 2 Shawmill operator. We milled timber in and around thge Apma area. But the thought of education is still on my mine.
In the year 2015 the OIPNG put up a notice of a FODE Centre will start at Samban. The lady in charge of the FODE Centre is Mrs. Karie Pryor of the OIPNG. So I was the first person to give my name to her. Karie asked me about my grade. I said “I am a grade six drop out at Samban community school and now I want to continue on with grade seven in FODE”
So other student joined in to continue on with the FODE.
Karie named the FODE CENTRE THE APMA FODE CENTRE
Now I see my dream came true. I am doing my FODE final examination for grade seven(7).
I thank God to make my dream come tru.
This year we have 26 students between the two of us (Karie and myself). Next year, it is likely that neither of us will be here. I don’t believe that education is the answer to all problems, social or otherwise. Only Jesus gives us true solutions. But education is a powerful tool. Especially in a country like PNG where we can openly use the bible as a textbook and use school lessons to teach life lessons centered around a Jesus like approach to problem solving.
All that to say, pray that God would send out laborers because the harvest is plenty and the laborers are few.