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19 June 2013

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Hi Peter, I may be able to help you. I have tried to get Jim Braun from Canada back into PNG to help but no luck and he has now gone off to Egypt, of all places, to teach. What one will do to get away from a Canadian winter!

If you contact me (cbshort@bigpond.com) I can put you in touch with Rieme Ray Alo who is now running Keravat National High School. He was on the recent Four Corners program Preying on Paradise - on corruption in PNG.

If Colin Huggins saw the Four Corners he may now realize what I mean by slowly capturing the monkeys of this world, people like Wartoto.

At the moment I'm now contributing to the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum on Facebook where many of the leading young educated Sepiks are discussing what needs to be done to develop East and West Sepik. I could mention you. They want to set up a Sepik region university. You may be able to help them.

I would also go back to Passam for a year or so to get it re-started, even if I only stay for 6 months. I would need a visa, etc, and some pay to keep things going. I could possibly help out.

I was a Maths teacher and deputy principal there in the 90's.

I did write to the school, but have had no reply.

Thank you Barbara, I do appreciate your candid reply.

You have shown over many years now, with this blog, your deep concern for the peoples of PNG.

Not real sure what this expression means, but I hope it works - "Softly, softly, catchee monkey".

Colin, I try to stay positive. There are many good Australians going to PNG to help in various ways e.g. Australian Doctors International, helping with Health Services in New Ireland.

I know of a Canadian educationalist who taught at Passam NHS in years gone by who would love to go back to PNG to help them with their syllabus development. He would also like to help them set up these Schools of Excellence.

The Office of Higher Education seems to be the agency that needs to develop the curricula suitable for the students at these Schools of Excellence, who should be trained up to go on to university study.

He wrote to the Minister of Education with his offer of help ten weeks back but has not heard anything from him.

With the help of this blog, and the writing of a few good letters, AusAid has rebuilt Keravat's buildings and it sounds as though they have a good Headmaster there trying to get the school up to standard. But, the curricula is the problem.

Through this blog I have been able to connect with many PNG people and the Australian Govt. and "get things done".

Helping Keravat also led me to understand the problems of corruption. A few days ago I was sent a lovely letter from the man in charge of getting the ICAC set up. He sent me copies of all the papers associated with the process and I have sent them on to many past Keravat students.

Little by little "catchee monkey".

I realize that some PNGians have been corrupt and have used their money to invest in Cairns. I also have an ex-Keravat student, married to an Australian, working in Cairns , to help me understand what is going on.

I have friends in Cairns who, over the years, have taught me about the PNG politicians who come down to Cairns to "get their teeth fixed". I realize there is a "them and us" mentality in PNG.

I am a realist but I have faith in PNG and I'm not going to let these corrupt people make me disillusioned.

The PNG people I consider my friends are hard working and loath the corrupt people and are amazed at the lengths they go to try to become "rich".

I hope good people from the Cairns and Townsville area just might get to hear what I have said and it might inspire them to offer to help with the curriculum development.

I hear that Air Nuigini is about to set up a direct flight Cairns-Rabaul so it makes sense for the people of Cairns to hop on a plane for a quick trip to Keravat to see what needs to be done in the way of curriculum development. They have the expertise. Hopefully they will share it with their brother and sister teachers in PNG.

Barbara: Ideas! What has been put in practice so far in PNG? Zilch it appears.

This visit to Townsville by PM O'Neill and bureaucrats (Education Department) from PNG could be mainly looking for real estate. Go visit Clifton Gardens north of Cairns and you might find an answer.

Many politicians have homes there. Delightful mansions indeed. BMWs, Mercedes and top of the range Range Rovers in driveways and in the front streets.

I hope your vision for PNG education and the benefit of the people are put in place. One can but hope, and as for Australian Aid well that appears to be going down the drainpipes of Port Moresby.

Just another glitch on the PNG calendar for betterment for the villagers, and most still, I believe live in villages.

Money that gets nowhere. Just pays for the expenses of the Australian advisors and it seems that they don't come cheaply.

Maybe, you and Mr.Kranz should go back and report, I certainly won't, on what really is the situation.
Oh and don't just stay in Port Moresby in a first class hotel, like Australian politicans do.

I read where the teachers running the PNG Schools of Excellence visited some top schools in Cairns and Townsville last year to get some ideas on improving these PNG schools.

I hope these Australian schools and the universities in Townsville and Cairns will be able to help these PNG top schools improve their curricula and teaching equipment and raise the standards of the gifted and talented PNG students.

Then the academic levels of the PNG universities intake will rise and the students be given a better chance when it comes to studying for university degrees.

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