Kemabolo village makes valiant move to build new classrooms under community initiative project

Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 10:24 pm

Students trying to assemble during the classroom launch last week (NBC News: Suli Suli)

A community in Central province has taken an initiative to build new classrooms for its junior high school to meet the changes in the education system.

Kemabolo village in Rigo district have taken a bold step without relying on the government to take on a purposeful challenge of constructing a new four in one classroom.

An initiative proposed by the school board under the leadership of chairman Apali Tau with enthusiastic support by the locals, the first phase of the project was successfully launched last Friday.

Classrooms accommodating grade 9 & 10 students of Kemabolo High School (NBC News: Suli Suli)

“This is a community initiative project which was initiated because there is a national education plan that the government will implement the 1-6-6 learning system,” Tau told NBC News during the project launch.

“So as a Day High School in Rigo Coast area, Kemabolo has decided to take the initiative to build a double classroom [4 in 1] to meet the requirements of that transition period.

“In 2026 when the grade 10 exams are phased out, we want our students doing grade 10 to continue to grade 11 and 12 in the school. So, we’re working towards that timeline.” 

Kemabolo Day High School accommodates 10 villages in Rigo coast with an estimated population of about 354 students from grades 7-10.

School principal Tuha Dumo said this proposed idea to create more facilities is ideal and would meet the needs of the growing population.

Raw timber cut by the locals will be used to build the new classrooms (NBC News: Suli Suli)

“The initiative taken by the community will benefit all the children attending this school,” Dumo told NBC News.

“The number of children is increasing in our communities and we will soon elevate the status of the school to secondary.

“But to do this we must have good learning facilities like computer labs and this initiative is in that step.”

The community organized themselves over the past week to gather vital resources from the bush, particularly cutting local timbers to start this beneficial project. 

Tau said the Kemabolo community residing in Port Moresby have been able to raise funds to meet the cost of other necessary materials which will be used to complete the building.

He said it was important for Kemabolo as host of the high school to start the initial phase of the project before seeking necessary support from relevant government authorities and stakeholders.

“Today (on Friday), we witnessed a remarkable event where timbers from the bush were brought to the school, winding down the first phase of the project,” he said.

“The next step is the actual construction of the building which will start in a month or two. We’re working with funds made available by the community.

“Currently we have no support from government, donor agencies or corporate entities but my team and I are hoping to secure some funds before we further the project.”

Student representatives [in uniform] along with school chairman Tau Apali [back middle] flagged by principal Tuha Dumo and ward councilor Larry Gulu with locals as a sign of solidarity to support the project (NBC News: Suli Suli)

As the government embarks on implementing the 1-6-6 system, the ownership by Kemabolo village is already in alignment with this move.

The project has initially cost the community about K20,000 to K30,000 to complete the first phase.