Over the years, many of them have been pushed out of the formal education system, either because the fees are too high or they come from a broken family. Many of them eventually ended up on the streets looking for ways to survive.
“My parents don’t care about me. Every time I propose to do something, they criticize me”, said Evelyn Chris, a street kid.
To understand the problem, we spoke to Bengal Nia, a teacher at the Buk Bilong Pikinini, a school for disadvantaged children in a settlement in Lae.
He says, while the government focuses on pumping money into the country’s higher education, it should also consider early childhood education for the disadvantage children.
“The government should build more school for the disadvantage children…at least give them a second chance in life,” Bengal said.
Moreover, as the economy grows, different sets of classes are emerging.
Those who have the money, send their children to schools. While those who don’t have these conveniences remove their children from the education system.
But the problem becomes more difficult when they grow older.
Earlier this week we spoke to Kevin Kaupa, a grade four drop out who spent almost all his childhood days living on the streets in Lae. This interview with Kevin has given a tiny snapshot of the bigger problem.
“I have resorted to commit crime in order to survive. But now I have realized that my life should not go on as usual. I want to change my life. I wanted to be educated. I don’t mind at all being a carpenter or a mechanic or a truck driver…I just need a place to go to get the knowledge of how to be one, said Kevin.”
Young people like Kevin are attributed to high level of crime in the country.
Kevin said if more training is made available to young people like him, then it will help minimize these escalating crime rates. [EMTV]