I’ve never seen a community more determined, focused and enthusiastically driven about education for their children than that of the Wingei people in the West Yangoru LLG.

They freely gave up a large portion of their land for the establishment of their very first High School.  They are determined to take care of their school and make it the best in the District in terms of management, care and academic excellence.

The land given is so big that we already have plans for the School to be developed in time into a boarding and secondary school, in future but that is dependent on academic performance of the school

Our small steps and humble journey to provide quality education to our children has begun. Wingei High School in the background.

I express my sincere gratitude to our hard working and effective East Sepik Provincial Education Board (PEB) for supporting the establishment of the West Yangoru High School in Wingei.  The PEB as well as the National Department of Education (NDoE) in Port Moresby have been very supportive of our progressive strategic interventions with the ultimate goal of having every YS child educated with quality education.

The first thing we (YSDDA) did was to build the 5 km access road to the location.  We now have a beautiful countryside road to the site.

The first Four (4) in One (1) classroom and four staff houses have been completed, with small finishing touches like electricity, plumbing and furniture yet to complete.  We still got more work to be done in the construction of the Head Master’s house, the science laboratory, girls and boys ablution blocks and water supply system.

I have directed the incoming CEO of YSDDA Mr. Jacob Yafai to fast-track payments for materials and labour so we can complete all required infrastructure in the next 4 months before the 2020 academic year starts.

The Department of Works Provincial Branch is managing and providing oversight of the Project implementation.

Discussions with Ward Members and community leaders on progress of work and way forward

We also received today the list of text books and student materials we need to purchase.  The YSDDA will also purchase these in advance – for both Wingei and Numbo High Schools.

We are preparing to have four (4) pioneer Grade Nine (9) classes of 30 students each, totalling 120 students next year.  The students will primarily come from the four feeder schools to Wingei High School, namely Wingei, Bugusu, Nagsi migel and Ulupu Primary Schools.

By 2020, YS District will have four (4) High Schools, that is one High School per LLG, three (3) Secondary Schools and one School of Excellence which preparations are underway to be transformed into an Academy.

I commend the Ward Members, leaders and the Wingei community for their tireless efforts and determination to have this school built in a beautiful location so their children will not be travelling to Yangoru Secondary School every day.

I commend the landowners who gave up the land free for the benefit of our children, now and into the future.  Let us keep working and aligning ourselves to the vision of educating all our children, leaving no one behind.

The Tuition Fee Free (TFF) education policy that promotes affordability and accessibility does have major challenges.  We should be working on solutions to address some of the challenges, particularly in relation to quality and inadequate education infrastructure to cater for increased student enrollment.

I want to challenge the critiques of TFF policy who offer no workable solutions to talk to their respective MPs and start investing in education infrastructure. For the record all MPs receive K3 million from our K10 million DSIP each year for education.  So it is up to them to use the K3 million prudently to build education infrastructure like classrooms and staff houses, etc, to cater for the increasing number of students now flooding our school system because of TFF and our government policy for education to Grade 12 for all.

If you are passionate and serious about making a difference to improve education, get out there and talk to your MPs to maximize the investment in education infrastructure like building classrooms, teacher houses, water supply, etc.  Work with your MP and communities to secure land and the Department of Education to plan for and build new schools.  Use Facebook to do fundraising for your schools instead of rubbishing the TFF policy.

The first 4 in 1 classroom near completion.

We in Yangoru Saussia (YS) are doing it tough allocating scare resources to many competing priorities.  But I commend my people of YS for truly embracing the opportunity and aligning themselves with our vision of making YS District the leader in education in East Sepik.

We are inspired and challenged by the Engans, whose leader Sir Peter Ipatas invested in free education 25 years ago.  The province is now reaping the benefits of their progressive investments in its policy to make education economically affordable and accessible for its children.

Nothing happens overnight!  I appeal to my people to have patience.  Unlike Enga Province who host gold mine as well as utilize internal revenues for their provincial education dream, we at YSDDA make many sacrifices with the limited resources we have.

I thank again the people of Wingei for their determination, enthusiasm and focus to work with YSDDA, PEB and NDoE to establish this educational institution.  Our children will no longer travel far and learn in over-crowded classrooms.  We’re doing our part to address the challenges of the TFF policy.  The National Government, Department of Education and other stakeholders will also do theirs.  We will not give up on our dream to leave no one behind in education.

Finally, I want to tell a few political opponents who live a comfortable virtual life on Facebook to stop their political propaganda that the West Yangoru High School is a ghost school that doesn’t exist.

Instead of building the West Yangoru High School at the earlier proposed site, the school is now being built at Wingei.  With the Pomalmal High School already established, this will bring to two (2) High Schools in West Yangoru LLG.  There is no need to build another high school.

We’ve also assisted the Pomalmal High School with a school truck and built three staff houses.  More staff houses will be built next year.

I challenge the critiques to do something useful for your communities.  For Wingei do something to help our workers on the construction site so Wok Ken Go Yet.  I’ve posted here an inspiring and challenging video so you know where to help.

Huhusek!

#GodFirst
#TogetherWeCan
#WokBaiGoYet
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