Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Letter from China


My baby sister called me this morning at 5am when I was still sleeping asking me to send her 1, 300 Papua New Guinea Kina for her Grade 11 fee.

She cried on the phone.

I share the pain that she feels.

She wants a school because I am happy she knows that her future is secured through education.

Now, the school she will do her Grade 11 is in a trouble zone in Western Highlands province, Papua New Guinea.

I am so concerned about her safety.

I also know that the school does not have proper library, or just a building with no books.

No computers and other necessary staff you would expect in a school.

My dad is poor.

 Including my mum.

I went to a school in the remote Tambul.

Woke up at 5am, roasted kaukau over the fire, had with cold water, no proper shower, torn clothes on my body, and attended Grade 1 to 6 at Alkena Primary School.

 I was accepted to do Grade 7 at Tambul High School.

When students from well to do family came with good clothes and shoes, I was with my same old dirty clothes, smelling of smoke from fire.

I tried so hard in school, have been to several countries, and am now in China.

Malum, what am I saying here?

Some of us are working very hard to be where we are, but where is the guarantee that we will get a better job?

And for those, like my poor sister whom I will pay her K1, 300 for a school fee, should be safe at the school with good facilities provided by the government.

Parents are paying huge sums of money for their children for better future, when yet, our politicians and well-to-do run down the country and consequently hate our education system and send their children overseas.

I went to school with some of these politician’s children in Japan, Fiji and now in China and you know what?

They are stupid; they do not know how to ask a question in class.

But when you talk about party, they are good and I think they are well-trained for service industries like hotels and tourism industries to be good PR people.

But mind you, some or most do not have manners.

Are we really serious that we love PNG, Mr Chief Somare?

Mathew Yakai



  1. Anonymous3:29 PM

    Hi M,

    This letter really touched my heart.

    The issues that Matthew raises in his letter - IMHO - are very closely related to the post you put up this morning titled:
    "Questions the Papua New Guinea government must answer".



  2. Anonymous4:42 PM

    agree entirely.

    Many of those who are successful have done it the hard way and are still keeping their feet on the ground. Simply because they know what it's like to go through tough times.

    Others whose parents have become "popular" overnight have never done it the hard way but all good things will come to an end. It may not be today, tomorrow or next week but when it does end there will be a very big price to pay either monetarily, mentally and spiritually.

  3. Mathew's letter deeply touched my heart.

    Things are still very wrong with this country.


  4. Hey Malum, I just paid only half of my younger sister's school fee to get her registered.

    Just to point out that the Dept of Education approved fee for all upper secondary grades i.e. Gr 11 and 12 is K900 and not over K1000. The govt is subsidizing the fees this year. It would be illegal for any secondary school to charge fees over K1000. The schools may add K8 or K10 on top of the K900 as SRC fee etc but not so exorbitant as over K1000.