By VICKY BAUNKE
BETHA Somare, the daughter of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, was the guest of honour at the Lae Secondary School’s 13th graduation in Lae yesterday.
She stood in for her father who had been invited to officiate but could not make it.
Parents, senior education officials, staff and the school’s partners and stakeholders witnessed 351 Grade 12 students graduate.
Somare congratulated the students for making it through their education despite challenges unlike other students who had to leave because of social struggles and pressure.
She emphasised to the students not to be spectators in the economic development of the country but express their opinions and become decision makers in the economy as high profile individuals of the country in different specialities they would be trained in.
“The idea of students as high quality individuals in the community mirrors a collective effort from the so many sacrifices and investment your parents have made so that you succeed in life,” Somare said.
“Skills have an economic value to aid sustainable growth and prosperity which depended on providing tertiary education and employment to young graduates and I urge parents to continue to consider the importance of educating both girls and boys as equal opportunities begin at home as parents make decisions about family priorities.
“The increasing female workforce in male-dominated professions is a sign of progress that my father wanted for this great country when he demanded that we decide for ourselves in the political freedom.
“He and others worked so hard to gain for us all, significantly graduates will be the legacy of your parents and that is a natural human process.
“What you do now, is what you will be judging yourself one day and you have to be fearless in your choices and be careful in your decisions as you are the investment of your parents and our country.”
A personal commitment of K60,000 by Sir Michael was given to the school to develop its resource centre.
Lae Secondary School principal Christopher Raymond acknowledged Somare for attending the graduation as the guest of honour.
By VICKY BAUNKE