| President PNGAA
SYDNEY - Earlier this year, the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia began exploring ways to increase its active involvement with PNG for the benefit of PNG and its people.
Several potential activities were examined but in the end, it was decided to establish a fund to provide secondary school scholarships to selected PNG students.
It was decided to focus on the West Sepik Province, one of the least wealthy provinces where secondary students are disadvantaged due to high unemployment and the inability of parents to pay school fees.
We were fortunate enough to be introduced to Glenda Giles who spent many years as a high school teacher and district education inspector in West Sepik.
Originally from New Zealand, Glenda is now retired and lives in Wewak although she still has an active involvement with schools in the province and has recently finished a stint supervising the marking of high school entry examinations.
In consultation with Glenda, the PNGAA has established criteria for the selection of two scholarship recipients and this month two students (one male and one female) have been provisionally selected to attend Anguganak High School, which is in a remote part of the province.
In keeping with the PNGAA’s responsibilities in regards to corporate governance and to ensure that the funds are responsibly collected from donors, including PNGAA members, Glenda will act as liaison between the PNGAA and the school.
Fees provided under the scholarship will be paid directly to the school so they can be properly accounted for and, in conjunction with the school’s headmistress, regular reports will be provided to the PNGAA as to the students’ academic progress.
Glenda has written in an email:
I would recommend a small start at a rural Junior High School in Sandaun (West Sepik) Province. I visit the school from time to time and am happy to assist with getting the project underway.
I will liaise with the Headmistress, Mrs Waino, to select one boy and one girl who will be commencing Grade 9 next year. “The local primary school is on the same campus so this will be easy to do.
We will look for students with good citizenship qualities and sufficient academic ability to continue through from Grade 9 to Grade 12.
The school has an account with Bank of South Pacific in Wewak so transfer of funds should be simple.
I will be able to monitor the progress of the students, supply photos and encourage them to write to you. You would also receive copies of their school reports mid-year and at the end of the year.
The school is small with 185 students and is located near a river. It is surrounded by rain forest. The pictures give you some idea of what it’s like.
Here’s the introduction to my last report on a visit to the school:
Anguganak Junior High School is a remote junior high school in West Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea providing Grade 9 and Grade 10 education within the national government system under the Evangelical Alliance agency.
The school is at Anguganak Christian Centre in the Yangkok Local Level Government of Nuku District, West Sepik Province.
It is located on the inland side of the Torricelli Range and has road access to Wewak in East Sepik Province. The school is registered in the government system.
The financial support provided by the PNGAA will be made available from PNGAA funds and members are invited to assist by making a specific donation to the PNGAA Scholarship Fund by depositing money into the PNGAA account:
Transfer to BSB 062-009
Account No 0090 7724.
Mark as ‘Scholarship Fund’
I commend this PNGAA initiative to all members and look forward to your support.
It is the intention of the committee to expand the number of scholarships awarded as funding permits.