The National – Monday, July 4th 2011
By JASON GIMA WURI
KAIRUKU-Hiri MP and Minister for Higher Education Research Science and Technology Paru Aihi presented K20,000 to Sogeri National High School as part of funding he promised last year for the school’s recurrent budget.
The presentation took place during the school’s cultural and singsing day last Friday.
Aihi said the money had been promised during its cultural show last year.
“For many years past governments have paid little attention to higher education,” he said.
“There have been criticisms from industries that many graduates from the country’s six universities don’t have jobs after graduating.
“Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s government has been responsible for a lot of reformation.
“I have been in office since March and I’m doing all I can to continue the good work of the government in education.
“I am determined to change the negative comments from the industries that uni graduates don’t have jobs.”
Aihi said the medium term development plan for 2011-50 set a very high target.
“There will be about 52,000 graduates by 2050 but only 6,000 graduates have passed out from the six universities in the country.”
He challenged the students to work harder and be proud of their heritage and their roots, saying it would give them a sense of identity.
“Culture is our identity, PNG is a nation so diverse yet it is renowned as one of the most democratic and united countries in the world.
“Unless we hold onto our original culture, it will disintegrate and diminish,” he said.
Sogeri National High School principal Benny Raiyapan said they were honoured to have the minister at their cultural event.
“For the people of this area we continue to see your support even when you were in the opposition, you visited us last year and to have you with us again and now as a state minister is a bonus and really shows the right kind of leader you are.
“We congratulate you on your new portfolio,” Raiyapan said.
The cultural day was celebrated with 22 provincial groups depicting the unique beauty of PNG..