Education is vital for growth and prosperity, say Lihir leaders


The National, Tuesday July 31st, 2012

CREATING an educated society is crucial to the sustainable growth and prosperity of communities in Papua New Guinea.
This is the belief shared by two Lihirian elders who recently spoke out about the importance of education programmes on the island.
Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association  chairman Peter Suar and Lihir Sustainable Development Plan manager Joachim Malele believed that educating the people of Lihir would lead them to a successful and sustainable future.
They believed that education was crucial to achieving the Lihirian dream of self-reliance and financial independence known as the Lihir Destiny.
The association and development planning and monitoring teams have invested in improving the level of education on the island by providing training opportunities for disadvantaged men and women in Lihir’s 15 wards.
These include the education and training of illiterate and unemployed Lihirians and arming them with the necessary skills for a sustainable and prosperous future.
Malele said their main focus was to prepare people for life after the mine closes.
They believed change must happen first in the minds of the people before it manifests throughout Lihir Island.
Suar said the association was providing quality training through the recruitment of education experts to help Lihirians capitalise on current benefits.
The training and education programme is divided into two divisions – the formal LSDP education and the informal personal viability training programmes.
The education services target schools and institutions on the island and provide quality training for teachers via the international education agency.
The personal viability training is conducted by the entrepreneurial development training centre.
“We are prioritising the development of our people at the moment because we know that we will heavily rely on our human resources when the Lihir Gold project comes to an end,” Suar said.