Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Manam students’ plight

By PORENI UMAU, Post Courier
THEY were forced out of their island community by a natural disaster and were placed in care centres.
They sought refuge at the Asuramba Care Centre in Bogia district, on the North Coast Road.
They are the future contributors to nation building and attend various high schools and secondary schools while others are in tertiary institutions including colleges and universities. Only by the “Grace of God” would they be allowed to continue.
They are students from Manam Island, currently living at the Asuramba Care Centre.
Their councillor John Siga from the Iabu local level government area raised concerns over these students, forced to withdraw from their studies because they could not pay their school fees.
Mr Siga said most of the affected were students in their final year of studies at tertiary institutions, others in Grades 10 and 12.
He said because they had been displaced by the volcano eruption in 2004, many who live at the care centre did not own anything at all.
He said that with such a problem, parents had no one to turn to for support as they had relied on the national and provincial governments until now.
Mr Siga said that it was disheartening to see intelligent young men and women pushed out of their final year studies because of school fee problems.
He said that they were asked to leave because they could not meet the fees owed.
“It is only by the ‘Grace of God’ that we hope they will be asked to return,” a worried Mr Siga said.
He said the deadline for fees lapsed last Friday and the students have not returned to classes.
He said the issue was brought to the attention of Madang Governor Sir Arnold Amet and a letter was submitted to Bogia MP John Hickey through the electoral officer Robert Nanguri last week regarding the plight of the Manam Island students.
Meanwhile, Mr Siga said that the people had gone without a health worker since the conflict a few months ago.

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