Chimbu Province will contribute 270 new teachers to primary and community schools around the country, courtesy of its new teachers college.
Its first graduates, mostly school leavers who were given a second change in life when they were enrolled as pioneering students, will pass out with flying colours as qualified teachers on the second week of December.
The teacher dducation division (TED)of the Education Department has already registered the school’s pioneering students for graduation.
Though they will be the first batch of graduates, the college has come up with a large number of teachers at a time when the country is in dire need of teachers due to its free education policy.
The school slogan of "creating new hope" has carried it through since its start last year at the Provincial Training Centre on the banks of Wara Simbu.
This year, 800 students have enrolled as first years. Despite a nationwide student population, three quarters of the students come from the host province.
The pioneering students are on a two year diploma program while the first year students will go through the normal three year program offered in all teachers college.
Because the facility is new, only the females are accommodated inside the campus. Three quarters of the student population attend as day students.
Infrastructure seems to be the only hurdle but the college has developed very rapidly from tuition fees alone. So far 12 classrooms have been constructed, including a female dormitory, all at a cost of K1.4 million.
Staff salary and accommodation, according to the college’s bursar Alfred Maime, are also met through the tuition fees.
Though the pioneering students have been recognised and registered for graduation by the TED, the lectures are yet to be confirmed against Teaching Service Commission positions.
"The country is in desperate need of teachers, and regardless of this being our pioneering class, we have managed to produce the biggest batch of teachers," Mr Maime said.
Deputy principal Luke Cornelius said most of the students had been doing nothing back in the villages or roaming the streets of the region’s main centres after being pushed out of the formal education system.
He said the college created new hope by giving them positive mind-sets and enriching the students lives.
The enrolment of such a large number of school leavers also cuts down the number of social problems and helps the students build their communities.
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