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16 March 2009

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I have set up a business in Australia called PNG Project Partners. My team of dedicated workers and volunteers would like to work with PNG citizens in the ares of community development, but we need your support.

Money is not the answer. The real need is committed effective education administrators who insist on proper contractual procedures - open tenders, transparent bidding processes and thorough technical monitoring of the work and payments made on a percentage of work satisfactorily completed.

But at the moment there is another problem that has to be solved. The local Provincial High Schools now extend to Grade 12, that is, they include Grades 11 and 12, which have traditionally been found at the National High Schools.

It is too costly to have two different systems for Grades 11-12. The fact that the National Department of Education is trying to hold on to National High Schools, instead of transferring them to the provinces is actually doing the schools a disservice.

There is apparent corruption within the division in Moresby that administers the National High Schools - hence their poor performance in recent years and the growing problems of the national high schools. The four national high schools are Sogeri, Keravat, Aiyura and Passam. Aiyura was in the news this week and things look very grim there. I have been told that Passam is also in a bad way and Sogeri is run down and needs renovation as well.

I have spoken to numerous ex-Keravats about this problem. They remember the school when it was in its glory, well equipped and producing students of a very high level of excellence.

Those who came from other provinces seem to think it is not right for the East New Britain Provincial Government to inherit such a school. Tolai students just tell me it is a problem and maybe it will be one day transferred to the ENB government to run.

I think that the time had now come for the people in authority, at a national level, to work out what needs to be done to protect these four schools and to make a decision that is fair to all provinces.

I feel that Keravat can still rise as a good high school. It has been all types of educational institutions in the past. The key factors will still be the quality of the Principal, and it appears that Ms Lillian Ahai is a very committed, capable lady, also the competencies of the staff, a good student morale and adequate resources for both studies and accommodation, including good food!
It is so disappointing to see a formerly excellent school disintegrate.

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