AUSTRALIA has funded new and renovated buildings at Rosary Secondary School, in Chimbu, for K6.7 million.
It will create 450 extra places for children and provide a better learning environment.
The funding came from the PNG-Australia Incentive Fund.
It includes 21 renovated staff quarters and seven new ones, 10 new classrooms and three new student dormitories.
James Hall, Australia’s Minister-Counsellor Development Cooperation, said Chimbu youth would have a better opportunity to complete their education and secure jobs in PNG’s growing economy.
“Less crowded classrooms and dormitories will provide better study environments,” Hall said.
“The new ablution blocks, clinic and infirmary will help to reduce disease that keeps children from learning.
“New and improved staff housing will improve teacher satisfaction which is critical because they are largely responsible for the quality of education.”
Principal Gabriel Aina praised the work of more than 600 members of the community who renovated buildings and cleared sites, enabling upgrades to more buildings than expected.
“We set out to achieve a better future for young people and, with the community’s help, we are on our way to fulfilling our ambition,” Aina said.
The project has included a boys’ counselling centre, extension of the girls’ guidance centre, renovation and extension of the mess hall and a female laundry block.
Of the 450 additional school places, 180 will address current overcrowding and 270 will cater for new intakes including students from remote rural areas.
It is not the first time Australia has supported Rosary Secondary School, locally known as Kondiu.
An infrastructure upgrade in 1998 enabled Kondiu to become Chimbu’s first secondary school.
Australian missionaries worked at the school from its beginnings 61 years ago as a kunai grass hut. The national
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