The National – Monday, December 20, 2010
MEMBER for Talasea and acting speaker Francis Marus last Wednesday unveiled West New Britain’s first ever impact project – the opening and dedication of new school buildings for Malalia High School in Hoskins.
The project was completed at a cost of K3.6 million for new buildings for the new United church-run school.
Marus was accompanied by Housing Minister Andrew Kumbakor and Moresby Northeast MP Andrew Mald, to the opening of 10 classrooms, an administration building, an ablution block and five new teachers houses.
The project was jointly funded by the provincial government and the United church.
The school buildings, which are locally-designed buildings were constructed by contractor J & J Construction, using all locally supplied timber with labour provided by people from the villages in the Nakanai area.
Marus, at the occasion, commended those who were involved in the project, including the contractor J & J and local suppliers like Malama, KBSA and Agmark.
“We must give back to our companies in the province. We must give business back to our own people,” Marus said.
He thanked the contractor in particular, adding that “he knows how to add value for money”.
Marus said nine months ago, he took part in the ground-breaking ceremony for the project before securing funds to make the project a reality.
He said it was hard to find the money but he had already made a commitment and he had to find the money.
“I made the decision and it happened. This is the first ever impact project for the province,” Marus said.
He said education was the key to the future and West New Britain must invest in education.
He said the project was made possible through partnership with the United church with the intention to provide quality education for children.
Marus said he was committed to building another high school in the electorate.
He also planned for Hoskins High School to be upgraded to one of the country’s six schools of excellence under the government’s plan.
“This is your Christmas present. The project is yours, look after it,” Marus told the people.
He also announced other projects that included a K3.4 million electricity supply project for Hoskins and K7.4 million funding for Kimbe General Hospital and K1.4 million for Hoskins Secondary School.
Kumbakor urged the children to take advantage of their high school which was at their doorstep , unlike in the past where many from the province had to go to schools in East New Britain.
Kumbakor, who once lived in West New Britain, said while the member was doing his best to serve the electorate, it was too big an area to manage.
He said if leaders were to better serve their people, districts should have at least 40,000 to 50,000 people in order for their leaders to better serve them.
Kumbakor said the K16 million for each district in PNG was not enough.
The ceremony was also attended by head of the United church Rev Sir Samson Lowa, who officiated in the dedication of the school buildings, LLG presidents and others.