Finance & Education Minister James Marape has issued ministerial directions to open Passam National School to enrol grade eleven students starting next year. The country’s one of the pioneer schools Passam was forcefully closed in 2010 over land compensation demand by the land owners and was out of business for approximately three years. Trade, Industry & Commerce Minister Richard Maru took Minister Marape on the fact finding and situation investigation trip by chopper to Passam. On arrival the two state ministers were met by the school principal, board chairman and East Sepik Education Advisor while the Provincial Education Minister travelled together with the state ministers on a chopper. Minister Marape said an allocation of K10 million each was made by the government in 2012 to the existing National High Schools in the country to maintain their eroding infrastructure. He said all schools received their component in full while Passam only received half and the other half was used to settle land owner feud that forcefully shut the school down which is now settled. Since the landowner compensation is rested, Minister Marape said there is no reason why this institution will sit idle without carrying out its pioneer responsibilities that it used to do in its glamour years. Mr. Marape said the four existing national high schools are under the school of excellence concept as there are ten schools given nod on this concept. He urged the school board and management to furnish the K5 million expenditure reports on the infrastructure development to him and said he will allocate some money in 2014 to ensure the school receive full as other schools for infrastructure. Marape said the first intake of 160 grade 11 students starts next year and instructed the school management team to align their development plans to cater for 1000 students per year. He said this will include the capacity to accommodate 500 grades 11 and 12 each year in terms of dormitories, messing facilities, classrooms, chairs, tables and most of all teachers who will teach the different subjects. Minister Marape who is brand child of school of excellence concept set a clear vision direction to ensure our next generation is adequately professionalised in different fields to shape this country in its drive for development and administration. Minister Maru who grew up at Passam where his father was a DPI officer and later was converted into national high school in the late sixties was full of childhood memories pledge to support the institution come into full operations. He said O’Neill- Dion government has prioritized education as a number one priority and he supports education for PNG and as local member and state minister he will support the school come back to its glory days. He thanked Prime Minister O’Neill for attending to many development priority areas in the two Sepik provinces and pledged to deliver what his government intends to achieve.
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