Kirsty Johnston is an investigative reporter at the New Zealand Herald.

Hidden Pacific: The power of education

In the remote Barai village in Madang province in the north of Papua New Guinea, teacher Louis Kumana worries about his school's attendance rate.

The village is so remote, the students only come to school half the time, traipsing down a muddy road only fit for walking or for 4WDs.

Access to education is an issue across PNG, with nearly 90 percent of the country's population live in remote rural communities. Approximately 30 percent of children never attend primary school.

Read more: Hidden Pacific: Q&A
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Communities at the heart of youngsters' education

Louis is one of two teachers in the community, in charge of the elementary school and the Community Learning Centre (CLC), for pre-school age kids, opened by World Vision in 2012.

Currently, the village cocoa garden is providing extra money to fund the teachers and the school's growth.

The school was supported with 180 cocoa plants, and were able to build a new classroom. But more funding is needed, as World Vision's programme ends this year.

As Louis shows us through his classroom, which is bright with children's art despite the limited light and bare concrete floor, he says he believes in the power of education to allow the young people in this remote village to go on to do anything they want.

"They can become pilots, the prime minister, or successful businessmen and women in the community."

How can I make a donation?

You can make online or phone donations.

Phone donations can be made on 0800 90 5000.

Click below to donate:
Donate to World Vision

- NZ Herald

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