Favourite titles

Favourite titles
Whether it is "Redefining literary techniques and devices", "Justifying Papua New Guinea Literature", or "Translating the Bible into Anuki", these offer valuable reading for the paperless student of literature, and indeed the best sort of literary entertainment you can get out of Papua New Guinea. Check them out either on Soaba's Storyboard or The Anuki Country Press.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Prospects of a high school for Tufi

A man who wants to see a high school established for the Tufi area is Max Forman, the current headmaster of Tufi Primary School. He’s is not quite a dream. It is a need that not only the Kotofu of that area but the education department of Papua New Guinea government must consider.

Tufi is conveniently located between Dogura in the Milne Bay Province and Popondetta in the Oro Province. We say conveniently because it lacks the influences of fringe ideals of modernity in lifestyle and creature comforts such as the two mentioned locations are used to. There, at those locations, the temptation for the young people to go astray is enormous. Access to drugs and manufacture of steam are cultural influences that a new generation can easily succumb to. And again both locations are too far for Tufi to send its children there in order for them to progress further to higher secondary and tertiary schools. Yet it has the potential in producing the best for future generations by way of manpower.

This has been Max Forman’s concern for many years. Tufi does need a high school. It has the population to warrant such an establishment and it proposes to answer the educational needs of itself and its immediate surroundings such as the Wanigela and Maisin areas further south and the Musa and Ewage areas of Oro Bay area, if need be. It has several well established primary schools strewn across and along its most enchanting fjords and idyllic coastline. Schools as much as Church stations remain as clean as when the Anglicans left the shores of Tufi at Independence. But its resort and guest house market for the tourist thrives. Only it sadly lacks a high school.

When a pupil passes primary school the prospects of progressing further to high school look grim and somewhat discouraging because the locations to which these children are required to go might not successfully answer their intellectual aspirations. They need better environment to work in. This, the parents are well aware of. Hence, the choice there often is when only a select few of their sons are given the liberty of going to Popondetta or the Milne Bay Province to pursue higher education while the girls are not.
Max Forman and John Wesley Vaso, along with a few of the pupils at Siu village, contemplating the need of a high school for Tufi.
Max Forman believes that that problem can be overcome. Almost all his colleagues at the surrounding primary and elementary schools and villages agree with him. There must be a high school for Tufi, they insist. His colleagues, both teachers and villagers, include John Wesley Vaso of Uiaku, Jackson Borime of Orotoaba village, Gladstone Javira and Gladstone Aguba of Siu village, Joe Daubi of Jebo E/School, and so on. Aside from talks on the need of a high school for the area, they also mull over a few obstacles that anyone anywhere, parent and pupil alike, would be well aware of. In the end, they conclude, a bargain has to be reached between parent and child: the parent keeps his end of the bargain by paying the school fees while the child agrees to attend to that by going to school.

But they are not alone, this little group of intellectual aspirants anxious to get things done for Tufi and more particularly the children. They have friends who visit them often; friends such as Drusilla Modjeska the writer and Hilary McPhee the publisher. These friends get together once in a while and actually plan the establishment of such an educational institution. They believe in doing things and watching them take shape, even if these will take the next one hundred years. But they are definite plans. Plans the parents of the area must be aware of. Plans the Kotofu of Tufi must agree to and approve of.

One of the positive strategies put forward by this group of friends is raising funds here and overseas which can cater for scholarships for children who pass primary or who are still at primary. With these opportunities made available the need for a high school closer to home becomes urgent. This also enables potential stakeholders to join in and participate. By stakeholders one would have in mind AusAID, the PNG Education Department, Oro Provincial Government and so on. Then of course an eye cast at the tourist presence for the region would not only appear enchanting but enlightening as well.

By way of an illustration: at the dinner table at Tufi resort one evening a young tourist, an Australian, became particularly vocal about his status as a real estate agent able to move anywhere in the world, and he could well afford to, snorkelling, scuba-diving, fishing, sun bathing, you name it. He’s just come in to Tufi from a brief stopover at the Kimbe resort, on his way home from Thailand and all the other places you name them wow!  Whether it’s Brazil or the Mediterranean he’s been everywhere. Again wow! Question: who pays for all that expensive trip year in year out? And who are the young man’s biggest clients if it is not the Government of Papua New Guinea? After all he’s the real estate agent, ain’t he?

Ever thought of helping people of your own age who are not as fortunate as you are? The tourist pauses, considers the question a bit, and realizes it makes sense. In a moment, and in the company at that table of friends like Modjeska, McPhee, Max Forman, storyboard and John Wesley Vaso he knows he has a certain sense of duty to attend to for places like Tufi. When storyboard along with Hilary McPhee (who has just come to Tufi from Egypt) point out the amount of money wasted in Egypt which should have gone to scholarships and not luxurious indoor swimming pools the young man realizes what is being asked of him: a sense of wisdom.

But you see the glint of hope. The young man might have been looking at the world from the other end of the periscope. When he looks again from our end things will turn out better. Especially for places like Tufi which need a high school.


Anonymous said...

Oh Storyboard, you inspire me ! Keep up the good work you are doing on your site.

The Anuki Country Press said...

Thanks, J.B.