ST Charles Lwanga High School was established in 2007 at Gerehu Stage 2 in Port Moresby.
The school started from an abandoned vocational youth centre.
The old workshops (from the vocational youth centre) were converted to temporary classrooms and used by the first 108 Grade 9 students in 2007.
At that time there were three expatriate missionaries, including the principal, and six nationals teaching there.
The first principal was Brother Philip Chacko.
The school is owned by Catholic Archdiocese of Port Moresby and is funded by the Government, church agencies, politicians, parents and other sponsors.
When the school first started, it lacked good classrooms, a library, computer labs and science laboratories but the teachers and students worked hard and achieved academic excellence with discipline.
The school was blessed with new classrooms, a new science lab, library and computer laboratory with an administration office in 2013.
All the teachers were provided accommodation in the school premises early this year.
These new facilities were funded by PNG Sustainable Development Programme, Society of the Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel, Catholic Archdiocese of Port Moresby, NCD Governor Powes Parkop, Moresby North-West MP Michael Malabag, Indian High Commissioner to PNG and parents.
The principal Brother Joseph Thomas is a religious member of the Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel.
He has been the principal since 2009. This year he is taking charge of 412 students and 12 teachers.
There are four classes of Grade 9s and four classes of Grade 10s.
The school has improved rapidly in its academic performance over the years.
In 2008 only 23 per cent of the students were selected to do Grade 11. 93 per cent were selected to do Grade 11 in various secondary schools in Port Moresby in 2011. The school has maintained 90 per cent-and-above results.
“We are extremely grateful to Sir Henry Chow KT, chief executive officer of Lae Biscuit Company Ltd, for a cash incentive of K10,000 per year since 2011 to the teachers for the excellent results. In other extra-curricular activities, like inter-school contests, our students are performing well,” Thomas said.
The school motto “I can and I will” offers every opportunity to the students to discover their talents and potentials to a level of self-confidence that “with hard work and determination, anything is possible”.
The school is now focusing on upgrading its status from high school to upper secondary school.
Thomas said the school discipline was strict.
He said discipline was often emphasised by school board of governors, school administration and parents.
“Many NCD secondary schools are happy take in St Charles Lwanga students to do Grade 11 because of our academic performance and their good behaviour,” Thomas said.
“We have miles to go.
“As we upgrade the school, we need more staff houses, a science lab and a multipurpose hall.”
This year, Parkop made a commitment to upgrade the school’s status to upper secondary in January 2016 by enrolling Grade 11s.
Parkop made a Kokoda Track Walk from Sept 24-28, to raise K1.8 million for 10 new classrooms.
Construction work is in progress and will be completed by November 2015.
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