Given time, SHP will prove to be on right track

Letters, Normal

The National, Thursday February 20th, 2014

 I WRITE in response to Youngpu Samo’s letter “Powi’s province still lagging” (Feb 7). 

Southern Highlands has the prime minister of PNG and the minister for works. 

In complementing this, we have other senior bureaucrats  and  top executives serving in both public and private sectors. 

Governor William Powi as well as other respected leaders from the five electorates are mandated to serve, and  not own, SHP. 

The factors that resulted in students’ poor performance in 2013 are:

  • Infighting among junior teachers for the principal’s position;
  • Most senior teachers transferred out of schools due to the infighting;
  • Students not taking ownership of their learning, mucking about away from school when they were supposed to be in class; and, 
  • The  structural adjustment policy sanctioned by the World Bank and  the  International  Monetary Fund – the  cause  of  the massive production of  Grade  10  and  12 leavers, creating a bottle neck in the system. 

With regards to deteriorating health indicators, Powi appointed Samo as the medical superintendent  for the Ialibu rural hospital when he was the administrator.

So, Samo would be in a better position to inform the  health  adviser, who will  then  advise  the  administrator or his two deputies so that the matter could  be  discussed with the governor and other provincial  executive  council members to find solutions. 

If you did not do your part, do not shift the blame onto mandated leaders. 

On  this  note, I commend Dr  Emmanuel  Andrew and the Mendi General Hospital management for their rural outreach. 

The solution to law and order problems needs a multi-sectoral approach.

It has to start with you and me by creating a lot of awareness and educating our relatives and surrounding communities. 

With regards to agriculture, only a few people cultivate  coffee  and a few farm fish, but we do not have tea and cadamon plantations. 

For the small holders of fish and coffee, the provincial government has allocated  enough  funds to cater for the farmers’ financial shortcomings. 

The public service machinery has been restructured  and  will be out for suitably-qualified individuals to apply for as soon as a permanent administrator is appointed.

The  letter  by Samo  was an indirect demonstration of his frustration, which is not  a  good  way  to  seek lasting solutions to address his own grievances. 

A professional should have had a more diplomatic way  of  approaching  people instead of running to the media. 

SHP is on track and after Hela broke away, it will take only a few moments to determine the quality of a leader to deliver. 

Besides, Powi – or any other leader for that matter – does not own SHP. 


Matthew Soma 

Port Moresby