The National, Monday November 4th, 2013
FACILITIES worth K2.2 million were opened at the Sonoma Adventist College in East New Britain last Friday.
They were built through the PNG-Australia Incentive Fund.
Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea Margaret Adamson officially opened the facilities at the college.
The facilities include new and renovated female dormitories expected to provide up to 100 more places for girls next year, a new health clinic, nurses’ house and meri waiting house that will provide better care for students and communities.
Also built was a new food technology and health science block to improve the quality of vocational education.
“PNG needs more educated men and women to make the most of its enormous potential,” Adamson said.
“I congratulate the college giving more young women a chance to change their own future through education, and in doing so, help their families, communities and country to grow and prosper.”
Figures from 2011 show there were 78 girls for every 100 boys at secondary school level in PNG.
Acting principal Malachi Param said increasing the number of female graduates was the focus of the project.
“We gave prominence to addressing cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS, literacy, food and nutrition, gender equity and equality, the environment and child abuse,” Param said.
Ramps at the new facilities allow access for disabled people and more security features are built into dormitories for young women.
Social protection is a core subject of the colleges’ teacher training.
The college will use the new facilities to deliver courses in nutrition to nearby communities.
The college, which contributed K304,000 to the facilities, offers courses in carpentry, tropical agriculture, teacher education and business studies, and provides primary and elementary schooling.
Adamson said Australia supported access to quality education from early childhood to universities and technical colleges.
“We work with PNG to get more girls and boys into elementary schools, keep them there for their entire primary and secondary schooling and provide options for further education.”