(THIS was reported in The National on June 4, 2013.)
A RESEARCH into the cause of fights and cult-like groups in Lae schools reveals that the problem is deep-rooted and needs a massive effort by stakeholders to fix it.
Rev Elymas Bakung heads the research into school rivalry and cult-like groupings in Lae schools funded for K35,000 by Lae MP and Minister for Community Development, Youth and Religion Loujaya Toni last year.
It was carried out by Morobe students attending the PNG University of Technology.
Bakung, who serves as the university’s Lutheran chaplain, said the information was very comprehensive and needed strategies by authorities to fix the problem.
Bakung said cult-like groups in secondary schools had existed for generations with some still having connections with former members who were now parents and former students in tertiary institutions.
It made the research riskier, he said.
“The grouping system is very systematic and the findings have shown that their activities will not cease easily,” he said.
“It will take lot of time and energy if we are to control this group system which has existed for more than 20 years and so its roots are very deep.
“There is connection with the group members who have graduated many years back and the level of indoctrination of the grouping system sunk deep into the inner being of members.
“It’s not that easy to stop or eliminate.”
Bakung said the research strongly recommended that the Morobe provincial government, provincial administrator, the provincial education division and provincial education board immediately deal with the problem systematically instead of letting the schools administration handle it themselves.
“We must do this immediately in addressing it otherwise we will still have more fights and student deaths,” Bakung said.
Toni was given the findings two months ago by the research team.