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Two old Kundiawa hands prepare to send books to Simbu

Second ‘Simbu for Literary Excellence’ event was a great success

Guard of honour, KondiuBOMAI D WITNE & FRANCIS NII

ROSARY Secondary School at Kondiu in Simbu Province burst into life a week ago with students,  teachers, a singsing group, local police and the community converging in the Bishop Cohill Auditorium.

They were there for the 2015 Simbu Writers Association (SWA) school debate and quiz contests and literary awards presentation.

Normally, it is inter-school sports or athletic competitions that bring schools together. More rarely, schools get together for other reasons. This was one of them

The event was made possible by the SWA through its pioneering endeavour, Simbu for Literary Excellence, that attracted and united provincial high schools and secondary schools.

Most SWA members do not have teaching qualifications or have experienced a stint in a classroom but lack of knowledge and experience has not deterred them from pursuing a cause they believe in.

Simbu for Literary Excellence was initiated to remedy the problem of Simbu students in high and secondary schools always performing poorly in national English examinations.

This was of great concern to SWA because, if students do poorly in English, other subjects will be affected because all school curriculums and examinations are in English.

So SWA members administered essay, poetry and short story competitions in Simbu schools with the papers marked at Kundiawa Lutheran Day High School and the winners announced at the award day at Rosary Secondary School, Kondiu.

This year’s participating schools were Yauwe Moses Secondary, Don Bosco Simbu Technical College, Gumine Secondary, Muaina Secondary, Mt Wilhelm Secondary, Kundiawa Lutheran Day High, Ku High, Boromil High, Barengil High, Kewamugl High, Kundiawa Technical College, Kondom Agaundo Memorial High, Moroma High and host Rosary Secondary School, Kondiu.

The day started at nine with participating students and staff in uniforms assembling on Rosary Secondary School’s spacious basketball courts from where they proceeded to the Auditorium.

Naur-Gor and Waingar Community Police and the Digine cultural group in traditional regalia provided a guard of honour as students, staff and guests walked into the Auditorium.

The Auditorium, with the capacity to hold a thousand people, was packed and many people had to look through the windows to get a glimpse of the events.

Roslyn Tony from Rosary Secondary School was at the podium to welcome visitors and invite the Catholic Bishop of Kundiawa, Anton Bal, to open the gathering with a prayer.

Michael Agua from Rosary Secondary School took over from Roslyn and invited the principal of the host school, Gabriel Aina, to make the opening remarks and to declare open the 2015 Simbu for Literary Excellence Award event.

Mr Aina thanked the visiting schools, students, staff, dancing groups, police, guests, local communities and everyone who came to participate in and witness the event.

“Today is an important day in the life of high and secondary schools in Simbu Province,” he began.

“We have always taught students in the classrooms but rarely find time and space to facilitate for students to expose or put into practice what they learnt. SWA is a group that partners with us to bridge this gap.

“They have even helped our students to produce books. They are facilitating debates and quiz competitions. We should give credit to SWA.”

The audience gave a roar of approval and applauded.

Students at Rosary Secondary School, KondiuEnding his speech, Mr Aina commented, “We cannot become important people where our voices are heard on TVs, radio, newspapers or other public media. We can write and raise our voice from wherever we are.

“Today we are here to celebrate literature but next time I want Simbu schools to organise a music competition.

“Education in Simbu must go beyond its traditional boundaries.”

After these remarks, the students were ready for the inter-school debates and quiz competitions.

Among the debate topics were ‘Tuition Fee Free Policy should go’ and ‘Pidgin should be the official language in Papua New Guinea’.

Official corruption involving tuition fees, overcrowding in classrooms, huge teacher-student ratios, lack of quality education, alleviating parents’ school fee burden, educating citizens consistent with Vision 2050 and other points were raised and heatedly debated keeping the audience on their toes.

The quiz competition made students think and expose their knowledge on a wide range of issues including current events.

The Kondiu Rosary Secondary team had a female student with vision impairment. She was an able quiz contestant and outsmarted other sighted students, showing the audience that her disability did not matter

Each time she gave the right answer, the audience went crazy and she was awarded a special prize of K200.

The president of the Simbu Writers Association, Jimmy Drekore, in handing prizes to the winning students in the various literary competitions, thanked participating schools administrators, teachers and students.

He told the students that the competition was all about them and challenged them to show their potential to the organisers.

He said the organisers’ role is to identify potential and expose students to bigger challenges in the world.

Winning and losing in this competition did not matter; what matters is that such a competition prepares students for their exams.

Jimmy also acknowledged invited guests including Abakure Mogia of the Education Department and guest of honour Stanley Alphonse, chief executive officer of PNG Ports and president of the Pacific Maritime Association, who had flown from Port Moresby for the event.

He also thanked the sponsors of the different awards for their support and encouraged others to offer sponsorships for future events.

Jimmy then called names of the different award sponsors and invited them to present prizes to the winners.

Sponsors included Yalkuna Tine Bomai, Bomailyn Bomai, Kagl Gende Memorial, Tumun Kuma, DaFalcon, Estate of Icarus, Think Tank Quiz, Dixion Daii, Rose Daii, Dr Tine Ningal, Dr Harry Poka, Lena Korugl, Dominica Are and Kombri & Associate Lawyers.

The main speeches followed the presentations. Abakure Mogia, representing the provincial division of education, said SWA is implementing the Simbu Education Board’s English policy and the division will continue to support the SWA in its efforts.

Stanley Alphonse acknowledged the attendance and described those involved in SWA as a mystery. It is an organisation for which people give up their jobs and family time to sustain.

Mr Alphonse said he was happy to attend the event as he believed in literature. The Education Department at national and provincial levels should support this cause.

English and Mandarin are now major languages of communication around the world. An event such as this is a direct intervention in dealing with language problems in the world.

The principal thanked everyone again and reminded those in attendance that education was everybody’s business. That is the reason why educators and private citizens and the community had gathered to acknowledge and reward students for their time and effort in the literary competition.

Some of the officials in the provincial government who were invited did not make it but it didn’t matter as the event went smoothly and was a huge success. It ended with a gala banquet with slaughtering of three pigs and a cow.

At the buffet, Gabriel Aina, the chief host who oversaw the whole event, in a Simbu practice handed the head of the pig to Mt Wilhelm Secondary High School gesturing that it will host the 2016 Simbu Literary Excellence Award atop PNG.


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Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

You all are angels among mortals. Wakai wo!

Jimmy Awagl

The report only recounts a single day's event, but a report of how far this event came about is long story to be unfolded.

SWA drive into the mountains, valleys, gullies, across rivers and up mountains to talk Simbu for Literary Excellence.

It was managed with a simple heart and the Kondiu event is the end result of the sacrifice over unaccounted days.

Credit to the sponsors and the fans behind SWA with moral support.

The concept is prescribed as 4x4 to push and drive SWA to achieve its milestone for 2015.

SWA members are stret talkers, street walkers, street eaters and stret implementers who touch the core heart of Simbu.

Dominica Are

Astounding report!

Mathias Kin

Thank you Yalkuna Bomai and Francis for this write up. The report goes out tomorrow.

Jimmy Awagl

The Principal of Kondiu, Mr Aina, is a great reader. He put the literary celebration to the next level ever celebrated in the country.

A man with vision behing the drive of SWA to promote 'Simbu for Literary Excellence'.

The honours goes back to Students, Staff, and Administration of Rosary Secondary School for the well organized preparation of the event.

Thank you so much Kondiu and the Sponsors.

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

Smart pictures, smart people. Great Simbu role models are at play here

Ed Brumby

You guys and your colleagues in the SWA are heroes! Just imagine of every other province could follow your outstanding example and lead ...

Michael Dom


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