Utu graduates 436 students

National

By OGIA MIAMEL in KAVIENG
ABOUT 280 Grade 10 and 156 Grade 12 students graduated from the Utu Secondary School in Kavieng district, New Ireland, yesterday.
Principal Barnabas Tobata said it was a difficult year for the school because they did not receive almost 80 per cent of the tuition fee free subsidy from the Government for the academic year.
“The school was threatened with closure but it is open till today,” Tobata said.
“In 2016 we were supposed to be given K3 million from the TFF funding for the school but we only received K319,000 and today we have K15,000 to go till Christmas and 2017.”
Tobata thanked the parents who helped to keep the school running by paying project fees of K200.
“Utu Secondary is the biggest government school in the province with almost 1000 students and 22 staff, but in 2017 we will pull the teacher population up to 30.”
School patron and Kavieng MP Ben Micah urged the students to study hard through research, reading, perseverance and positive study attitudes.
He told the students that companies and government departments would recruit university graduates based on academic performances and not on degree qualifications.
“Capacity of our system to absorb all students to go to school is still poor and every year a big number of Grade 12s drop out, some of these children do not feel down because that is not the end of your life, that is just a detour into some new experience that you must learn,” Micah said.
Education director Jack Lapauve said: “There is no such thing as failure in life.
“You are potentially capable of becoming somebody in life, today should signify a new chapter in your future endeavour, a new chapter for Grade 10 means keep your fingers crossed for Year 11, if you cannot make Year 11, there are other avenues through which you can matriculate, for Year 12 if you cannot make it to university or to a tertiary institution you will still make it one day in life,” he said.

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