Scholarship aims to boost women in math, science


THIRTY-THREE female students studying to become teachers have received scholarships to further their education.
Thirty-one students from St Peter Channel Catholic Secondary School Teachers Training College (CCSSTTC) in East New Britain (ENB) and two from Pacific Adventist University (PAU) received their math and science teacher education scholarship awards from the boosting education standard together (Best) PNG project.
Margreth Penington, 28, from Qngalik Island in Kavieng’s New Hanover, New Ireland, a second-year student at CCSSTTC, shed tears of joy when she got the news.
Penington said her mother was a single parent and the scholarship would help her mother.
Penington is in year-two studying biology as her major and minoring in religious education.
“I cried when I heard I was selected for the scholarship and my mother was the first person I called to tell about this good news.
“I am privileged and also, this will be a relieve for my mother,” Penington said.
“After completing my studies at St Peter, I will go back and teach in secondary schools in my province.
“While teaching, I will do awareness on the opportunity that is given to the tertiary institution such as Newcrest Lihir Gold Mine Ltd is offering now and also, I will help those students who experience school fee problems.”
She said her aim after completing her studies was to help and encourage young women and girls to work hard in school and not to live a victim of their problem but to be the agent of change in their own society.
Joanitha Yango, 21, from Manetai in Central Bougainville, Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Arob), a second-year biology student at St Peter, was also a recipient of the award.
Yango said she would go back to Arob and encourage other young women to take up math and science courses after completing her studies.
“The Best PNG has awarded us accordingly and it’s a blessing for us and also for our struggling parents back at home,” she said.
“As a recipient of Best PNG scholarship award under the global partnership for education, I am happy and privileged to receive this female math and science scholarship.
“I want to thank the Department of Education and Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (DHERST) for believing in us.”
The scholarship covers tuition fees, school facility fees, text books, boarding and annual home travel tickets.
This initiative is part of Save the Children’s commitment to support the Education Department improve teaching and learning outcomes and access to quality and inclusive education in the country.
The Best PNG project aims to improve lower primary learning outcomes in math and science in low-performing provinces through strengthened pre-service and in-services teacher education, expanded access to teacher training for female teachers and improved access to textbooks.
The project was rolled out in Western, Gulf, Northern, Milne Bay, West New Britain and West Sepik by the Education Department, DHERST and Save the Children with funding support from global partnership for education funding and Newcrest.