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The importance of education

Children’s story collection well received in Enga schools

PNG reading material is always seized upon in PNG schoolsDANIEL KUMBON

TRICKERY at the Crocodile Pool, a collection of children’s stories sponsored by the Paga Hill Development Company, has been well received by headmasters and senior teachers of six schools in the Wabag District were Enga Province.

Other books also highly regarded by recipients were the Crocodile Prize Anthology 2015 and recent issues of Air Niugini’s informative in-flight magazine, Paradise.

The distribution was arranged by members of the Enga Writers Association and included formal presentation ceremonies at Kopen Secondary School and Kandep High School which were recorded by NBC Radio Enga.

Robert Upe, editor of Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine Paradise, hearing that the magazine was well received by Wabag schools, told me he would continue to send every issue to the Enga Writers Association so more schools will receive it.

Ben Tamalele, represented the Division of Education, said this was a good initiative by the newly-formed Enga Writers Association to distribute good reading books to schools so students and teachers can read them to improve literacy.

He said reading and writing skills of most Enga students is low and he encouraged teachers to help their students to read and write.

Mark Sakol, principal of Wabag Primary School, said it was good the national government had abolished the outcome-based education concept of education which had been an obstacle to writing, reading and speaking good English.

A senior teacher from Par Primary School said now an Enga Writers Association was formed, she would encourage her students to read and write more.

Other participants from Robert Ganim High School, Birip Primary School, Par Primary School, Sari Primary School, Irelya Primary School and Wabag Primary School said they will encourage their students to write short stories, poems, essays and legends and possibly publish them in an anthology of writing from Wabag schools.

Students and teachers from Wabag Primary School have already sent in entries. One of the poems written by a Grade 6 student Kuring Mond, entitled ‘Hold fast your dream’, was included in a new book expected to be published in September. It is a collection of poems, first impression pieces and essays about Enga Province.

I chose the poem because it is thought-provoking to see that a young pupil in a primary school has dreams for the future. To get students to express themselves like this, I think it is important for teachers to encourage all of our students to write more.

Hold fast your dream


Hold fast your dream
If you let it die
you will be like a bird
with a broken wing
that cannot fly

Hold fast your dream
But when dreams go
Life is like a barren field
frozen over with snow

Hold fast your dream
You have something
to hope for
something to live for
something to do in life

Reading and writing not only improve English comprehension but give students confidence and an opportunity to think, analyse and express themselves as they grow up.

The title of the new book, already submitted for publication, is ‘Can’t Sleep’. I took it from a poem written in 1984 by Grade 7c students at Laiagam High School about how they worried so much about their future when different tribal fights were fought near the school. Laiagam High School was eventually destroyed during prolonged fighting.

The participants at the recent meeting talked about the possibility of providing incentives to get our students in Enga schools to write more. But I said, since the Enga Writers Association has no funds, the schools themselves could organise such initiatives if they wished.

Corney, 2016An Engan Living in Port Moresby, Corney Korakan Alone, has offered to provide funding to get our students to write good essays and he suggested a tittle ‘Why tribal fighting is bad for Enga’.

The participants acknowledged his generosity and willingness to help improve literacy levels of students in Enga Province.

If other people come forward to sponsor other categories like poem, short story, legend or essay, the Enga Wrters Association will organise a province-wide contest. The end result would be An Anthology of Enga Schools Writing.

But for now, the Enga Writers Association remains optimistic that Wabag district schools will publish an anthology in the not too distant future if the interest already shown by Sari, Wabag, Irelya, Par, Birip Primary Schools and Robert Ganim High School is any indication.


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John K Kamasua

Well done Daniel and Enga Writers Association.

Good to keep the flame alive.

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