THE first lot of the much-vaunted RESI fund cheques is being handed out.
Lae’s Bugandi Secondary School, one of the oldest schools in the country, yesterday received its share from Finance and Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch.
The rehabilitation education sector infrastructure (RESI) cheque for K3 million was given to the chairman of the school’s governing council Benson Suwang and acting principal Chris Raymond.
“A lot of other schools are still waiting for their RESI funds which were being deposited into district treasury accounts,” Mr Pruaitch said at Bugandi’s 43rd graduation ceremony.
He had taken time off from budget preparations because he was “a true believer in the importance of education and the importance of an educated population”.
“The better educated you are, the more educated decisions you will make for a brighter destiny for Papua New Guinea,” he said.
The greater part of his speech was centred on the medium term development strategy and its opportunities.
To get the message across, he referred to failing students.
“Let’s be realistic, many of you graduating today will end up back in your village communities, but when you do, your Government will already have catered for you,” he said.
“While basic education will be the foremost priority of the Government over the medium term, the MTDS acknowledges the need to ensure that PNG’s brightest and most talented students have the opportunity to receive a quality education. MTDS also addresses requirements of illiterate adults and out of school youth through community based informal education programmes,” he said.
He said the strategy was “relevant and well-placed” because it ventured to develop rural areas at the threshold of the multi-billion kina liquefied natural gas project.
“As with many things, you have to have the intelligence, right mindset, and the right attitude to become involved and succeed.
“The Government expects its people to be partners in development. Do not for one moment think that the Government is there to provide for the people all the time.
“That’s a terrible mistake, and the mentality that will leave us beggars forever,” he said.