TEACHER DRIVE ON IN BOUGAINVILLE

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BUKA, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (August 11, 2002 – Post-Courier)---Bougainville’s Division of Education has begun a major recruitment of teachers from all over the country to help in the redevelopment of formal education in the crisis torn province.

Fifty-seven teachers from Gaulim and Kabaleo Teachers College will arrive in Buka this week to help with education reforms on the island.

The formal education system collapsed during the Bougainville crisis and has been down since 1989.

The move to engage these teachers is aimed at cementing the peace process that has taken place over the years to bring normalcy back to the island.

Most of these teachers will take up positions in Central and South Bougainville -- areas still labeled "troubled areas."

Fifty-five of 57 of these teachers have been posted to Kunua, Boku, Teperoi, Kieta and Navibi, to name a few areas.

Education Secretary Anthony Tsora told the Post-Courier the teachers will take up their posts after they graduate this week.

Kabaleo Teacher’s College has about 30 trainee teachers teaching in the province now. They will return to Rabaul for their graduation Wednesday and then will return to the island to take up their posts.

"I am sending Michael Meten (one of the education heads) to recruit more," Mr. Tsora said.

"We will have 57 teachers at the most. We are looking at more and they will be posted to all parts of the province.

"Many of them are happy and we are also happy that these teachers have chosen and agreed to come teach in Bougainville."

Students on training in Buka schools said they were looking forward to taking up their positions and teaching in these "troubled places."

Albert Teni from Western Highlands Province, who will teach at Muguai in South Bougainville, Charlie Buku from West New Britain and Peter Kilien from Manus, who are posted to Tupukas, Arawa and Peter Lahis, Central Bougainville, said they were not scared to go and teach in those areas.

"It’s the education for the children ... We will take up our duty as teachers to educate the children of Bougainville," they said.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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