ORGANISATIONAL leaders play a major role in influencing the members and cultures of the institutions they lead.
Doing the same things in different ways is one of the hallmarks of creative and innovative minds. The management at the University of Goroka showed just that ability during the recent orientation week.
Corporate, private, civil and church organisations were invited to participate in the orientation program. These bodies showcased their products and services to university students and staff.
University council members led by Chancellor Joseph Sukianomb were on hand to meet and welcome students. They were accompanied by the national secretary of Justice and Attorney General Dr Lawrence Kalinoe and defence commander Colonel Walter Enuma.
The speeches centred on encouraging students to value themselves, protect their education and strive to be leaders. They were told that the university exists to help them achieve their dreams. There was no better place to that than the university.
The Raunraun Theatre dancers entertained guests and students; the patterns and rhythms of their dances and songs brought to fore the richness of Melanesian history and its blending with contemporary performing art.
The Institute of Distance and Flexible Education (IDLF) was busy catering to those Grade 12 students who did not make it to tertiary institutions this year.
Each year tens of thousands of young people join the seemingly never-ending queue of school drop-outs and resource constraints mean that the University of Goroka, through IDFL, can absorb only a few of these to give them a second chance at furthering their education.
Students, staff and community members benefitted from awareness and educational sessions throughout the week. The commercial banks assisted students open new accounts and talked to people about the various services they offered.
The Melanesian Institute displayed publications of papers and other materials. This small institute, owned by the churches, pooled its experts and resources to research socio-economic issues and disseminate information through publications.
The Voice Inclusive, a civil society organisation that inspires and promotes young people, was on campus. It recruits university students under its leadership program and uses students to reach out to others.
Universities should partner with more organisations to build and promote national civic values in students. In the absence of such partnership and innovative mechanisms, many university students in PNG continued to think and behave along parochial lines.
Parochial attitudes impede students from developing global and national approaches. They tend to be too narrowly focused, confused and lacking in self-confidence.
Through innovative and dynamic leadership with strong partnership networks, the University of Goroka is showing it has the potential to develop all aspects and mould the mindsets and behaviour of its students.