School selects 30 pioneer students


Thirty students in New Ireland have become proud pioneers of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart International Governors’ School of Excellence.
This is through the government’s scholarship approved by the provincial executive council (PEC) last month.
In a meeting, the PEC approved them on January 9.
The decision marked the conclusion of a series of discussions towards end of last year and this year between the school board, Catholic church and the provincial education division, with final approval from the New Ireland government.
Director for education Apelis Benson said the 30 students were enrolled to take up studies from grades nine to 11 with 10 enrolled for each grade.
“Thirty per cent of them have been selected from remote areas of the province,” he said.
“We hoped to increase it to 70 per cent, enabling rural students to enrol at OLSH Governors School of Excellence by 2020.”
Principal Jo Martin confirmed the student enrolments.
“I wish you could have seen their faces,” she said.
“It was like they had won the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
“They were stunned by disbelief that they had been selected.”
Another told Benson that he dreamed of attending OLSH international each day he walked past the grounds on his way to Eli Wanera Primary.
The selection committee based the selection on a set of high academic results, as well as the financial position of the student’s family.
The directive to make OLSH International the governor’s school of excellence came after school board notified government that it was facing closure due to low enrolment and budget difficulties to keep the school open.
Governor Sir Julius Chan stepped in.
The decision was made in the PEC to fund 50 scholarships, the first 30 of which have now been filled.

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