PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has given K2.3 million to the Dregerhafen Technical Secondary School in the Finschhafen, Morobe province.
Sir Michael said he gave the funds to the school to honour a commitment he made earlier.
He said he had pledged to assist in the refurbishment of the old historical school buildings which were built in the 1950s.
“Known then as the Dregerhafen Education Centre, it was the regional high school for Momase which catered for students coming from the two Sepik provinces, Madang and Morobe itself,” he said.
“I was one of the pioneers of that school.
“It was subsequently converted to a secondary school in 2006. However, ongoing maintenance problems resulted in the school being closed down time and again,” he said.
Sir Michael said the Member for Finschhafen, Theo Zurenuoc, had also made numerous requests to have this school catered for in the Government’s budgetary allocation.
“My Government has heeded his call and has made this money available. I hope the school board of management and the member ensure that this money is put to good use to renovate the school buildings,” he said.
Mr Zurenuoc expressed his gratitude for the Government’s assistance and assured the Prime Minister that the money would be used as intended.
He said the scope of maintenance has already been designed and work is ready to begin soon.
Dregerhafen Secondary had last year been allocated nearly K2 million in the Government’s rehabilitation education sector infrastructure fund.
The money had not reached the school by early January forcing school governing council chairman Sir Jerry Nalau, a former classmate of Sir Michael’s at Dregerhafen, to threaten to close the school.
Sir Jerry had said the school was already suspended by the Morobe provincial health division because of poor water and sanitation.
In order to have the ablution blocks renovated for the health division to approve the start of the academic year, he said he needed the money.
Buildings including dormitories, workshops, staff houses and classrooms need to be repaired after more than 50 years of use, Sir Jerry said.