HOLY TRINITY DEMONSTRATION PRIMARY SCHOOL
MT. HAGEN, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Living in a Lasallian Brothers Community
**This placement is open to males only
Summary and History of the School:
Holy Trinity Demonstration Primary School was founded by the Catholic Diocese of Mount Hagen in the late 1960's. It was founded with a purpose of supporting the Teacher Trainees from the Holy Trinity Teachers' College, adjacent to the school to practice their teaching skills.
This is a Lasallian school based in the Highlands where students travel from nearby rural villages, often walking for hours to reach school. Mr Bullema has been the Principal for over three years. The De La Salle Brothers have never served as Principal, but have an ongoing presence teaching at the school for several years. At present, there are two Brothers working in the school with over 1200 students enrolled (both male and female) with no boarding school attached.
Free education in PNG was introduced in 2013 which has substantially increased enrolments. The change of education policy was welcomed; however the schools have not received additional Government funding support to expand or improve their infrastructure leading to overcrowding in many classes.
Background/Home life of students:
Students mostly come from disadvantaged families. The tribal system has a major influence on family and neighbouring dynamics. The students can easily identify which tribe or clan one belongs to. It is an advantage for a student to know if a classmate or friend comes from the same tribe.
The Lasallian Volunteers will be welcomed in the Brothers' community at Mt. Hagen where responsibilities will include helping with domestic chores and gardening in the community house. Mount Hagen is the third largest town of the country after Port Moresby and Lae, and the biggest among the highlands. It is a cool place to live and temperatures often stay around 15'C to 20'C. It rains almost every day except around two weeks in May. It has its own dialect (tok ples) however, people widely communicate through the national language (tok pidgin). English is well understood and spoken by everyone. Schools teach in English only.
The responsibilities of a Lasallian Volunteer includes:
Support individual students in classes with literacy and numeracy.
Prepare and participate in class/school-wide liturgies, retreats and leadership Formation programs.
Visit the students and families during holidays.
Assist in extracurricular options and planning, e.g. sports programs, art, music.
Assist with student leadership training programs.
Live with the Brothers in the community and assist where needed.
Challenge: Living in a remote but rural setup. Low speed internet (3G only). Being a long way from family and friends, learning to live with others you have never met before, mananging difficult behaviour of some students.
Reward: Getting to know the people, language, culture, tribes and how the tribal system works here.
Preferred qualifications: Solid literacy and numeracy skills, knowledge of sports and coaching, music, retreat experience, First Aid certificate.