By FRANK ASAELI
IT truly pays to upgrade the skills and knowledge of workers.
Not only does the additional training enhance the ability and knowledge of employees but the short spell away from the daily rigmarole of the office or the workplace can do profound wonders for morale. It can also be a time for someone to reflect on whether or not they’ve been doing their best.
And if the short term training happens in a foreign country, it can change the person’s general perspective on life too after they grab that once in a lifetime opportunity to learn new things about the host country’s culture, work attitudes, the people, the land and its environment in the host country. So much so that when they return to PNG, they approach their jobs and lives in a completely different, more determined, manner.
Scholastica Masueng is one such person who has had the fortune to spend some time overseas. Scholly, as she is popularly known among her peers, returned from a training program on sustainable port development in Japan last year and is truly a changed person after that stint.
Currently a maintenance planner with PNG Ports Corporation Limited she is keener than ever to do more towards the development of PNG.
Generally, like her other female and male colleagues within the PNG Ports Infrastructure Division, her role as a civil engineer means she takes care of designated civil engineering projects across the network of ports around the country.
These include maintenance of wharves, restoration of damaged facilities and structures through insurance, supervision of construction of new wharf projects, tender preparation and documentations.
“It is challenging especially in engineering but you learn to work in harmony with your male counterparts with the right professional approach.”
“I see working together as an opportunity to learn and be competitive and contribute meaningfully to PNG Ports and PNG as a whole.”
“We do this for the love of our country,” says Scholly.
This requires, among other things, taking into consideration the impacts the business has on the environment and to come up with strategies to be responsive to natural disasters and the challenges brought about by climate change and the rising sea level.
The 38 year old, she has five brothers and a sister and comes from Ali Island in Aitape in Sandaun. She spent much of her childhood in Madang and East New Britain with her father being a former kiap and her mother a high school teacher.
Since gaining her Bachelor in Engineering (Civil Engineering) Degree at the University of Technology in 2003 she had gone on to work as a student trainee with civil construction company in Lae and spent another three years’ work with Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA). Her employment with PNG Ports commenced in March 2009.
“Working for PNG Ports has been a rewarding experience, contributing meaningfully to the society and country as a whole by providing and participating in effective and sustainable engineering solutions to cater for economic growth and diversity in the maritime transport sector,” Scholly said.
The training program in Japan was awarded in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
JICA programs are fully funded by the Japanese Government and are group and region-focused training programs which are offered as part of Japan’s bilateral aid programs.
Scholly is one of 14 Ports employees that have so far participated in various programs, mostly from infrastructure and operations divisions with a handful from the security department benefitting as well.
Leah Maniura, an invoicing clerk at Madang port is currently doing a Masters program in Japan under the same arrangement.
Some of the JICA programs offered yearly to PNG Ports staff are Sustainable Port Development & Planning, Capacity Development on Port Policy & Administration, Strategic Port Administration & Management, Port Facility Security for Asean, Disaster Management on Infrastructure (River, Road & Port) and Pacific Leaders Education Assistance for Development of State (Pacific-LEADS – Masters program).
- The writer is senior public relations officer at PNG Ports Ltd.