The scenery at the top of the hill is magnificant but the topic of conversation was most interesting.
The scenery at the top of the hill is magnificant but the topic of conversation was most interesting.

My recreational leave started on Wednesday and thanks to Oxsie I spent half the day at the very top of Tuaguba Hill overlooking down town – right beside the residence of a prominent pollie – and ground zero for the current government’s surprise coup.

At the hill we opened our 12 pack of PNG’s best lager and settled beside a duo that were there earlier. After a few drinks we started conversing and found out that indeed ‘it is a small world’ – we were all from Manus. (Ahem, one of us was a honorary Manusian but nonetheless he was a Manusian.)

Anyway, we jogged through a few topics including life back home and its future until we reached the issue of the ‘generation system’ that is perversely practiced in many schools in the country.

As someone who was an outsider to such a system, I did not go through this rite of passage, I found it interesting and enlightening.

According to my beer brethren, the system was designed as a ‘buddy’ or ‘big brother’ system in the national high schools – a support group. Its main purpose was to ease the transition most students faced when going to a boarding school for the first time. Unfortunately, as noble as its intent was, the original purpose has become distorted and perverted by ignorant power hungry students. Ironically, I am told a similar system exists within the institutes of higher education like Balob Teachers’ College.

According to my mother who attended the college, the second years chose, from a list, who they would take under their wing and guide their assimilation into the school environment. The cycle was repeated every year and created a smooth transition into the college. Unfortunately, it seems that the system is only practical in schools were board and lodging was provided.

I believe the system may have become distorted during the introduction of the secondary school system, when regular high schools were upgraded to cater for years eleven and twelve. The idea was adopted into the secondary school system but it was not taken in wholly and had probably been perverted before being passed down. Students abused the system to create opportunities for them to be in power. It’s also the reason why there a different groups; the legacies of perverted individuals who used something good to create a monster. The systems in existence today have mutated so much that they no longer represent the ideals of its origins.

My insight into the alleged cult system practiced in schools is limited. However, I gather that it started out as a noble concept and mutated into something ugly. I guess we could spread the blame equally among the students for misusing the system, the teachers for not trying to understand it, society for inadvertently fostering a conducive environment for mutation and the media for creating the mental projection that is imprinted into people’s minds.

As the system mutated people started calling it by condescending names like cult or sect. Of course, they were right. It was no longer what it started out to be. Whatever, happens I hope that anyone who reads this post is enlightened.

Many thanks to my brothers Oxsie, A-X and Sypress for the beers and the stories. You guys are legends.