GENESIS SCHOOL: an example of grassroots initiative to teach kids their native language.

3 05 2011

Chairman of the school, JM, Clytus and family, Clive P.

On the 24th of April I took a trip to Tororei, a village in central Mekamui/Bougainville, near Koromira.                    Clytus a man from the area invited me to film his school, which he runs with the help of his wife Merry. He had met me in Arawa and asked me to come to his village and film the school. Unfortunately it was a holiday week and I couldn’t do it later as I am about to leave Mekamui.

We went first to the former BRA Commanders residence thinking that Clytus might be waiting for us there, but Sam Kauona told us that he is waiting  for us in the village.

JM my comrade drove us up with his skilled hands through the rough rocks and pot holes. When we arrived we saw Clytus waiting for us. I chatted with him for a while before I started filming him and his wife Merry, while they were talking about their school, which is run without any funds from anyone.

The school was very touching to me as they taught the kids their mothers language and Clytus and Merry told me with a big smile on their faces that the kids who attend the school do well when they are moved to the elementary or primary schools.

The thing that is very impressive is that they want to give the kids a solid foundation in their mothers tongue, because when we mix it with pidgin and English the native language tents to get forgotten. They told me: that is the reason why the community saw the need of teaching the kids first the mother’s language and they are supporting the idea.

Later they took me to their project site which they started building. It is a fishpond consisting of 3 pools, with a bigger one, which they are still digging. He got some white ants and fed the fish. The three different pools hold each different fish types. He told me that when this project is on the ground they will have some kind of funds.

They said that around the area they have now set up 8 language schools. They have been invited by many to set up more schools and this is the beginning, as the name of the school tells: Genesis School.

After filming we sat and talked for a while with JM and the Chairman of the school and had fruits before we drove back to Arawa.

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