Australian support for the only all-girls school in the Highlands Region is set to further empower young women, with the opening of new facilities at the Notre Dame Secondary School in Mount Hagen.“I see it as empowering the women of the Western Highlands and the region so they can go out and take their role in society as educated women and as Christians with good values to live by,” said Principal of Notre Dame Sister Mary Vivette Baker.
The project included the building of 3 staff house duplexes, a 52 bed dormitory, two double storey classrooms, a kitchen and dining hall, a two storey administration building and an upgrade to the water system.
Australian Deputy High Commissioner to PNG, Margaret Adamson during the opening, urged all present to commit to embracing full participation of women and girls in PNG.
“The new facilities and upgrade will ultimately lead to a better learning environment and quality education for girls in Papua New Guinea. It will immediately increase student numbers and ensure students have a better chance of getting into tertiary institutions.”
“The new staff housing will also ensure teachers are satisfied within their jobs,” said Ms Adamson.
Notre Dame has previously benefitted from the Incentive Fund, receiving K7.5 million in 2003 to expand the school to give it secondary school status.
Since the year 2000, Australia has built about 350 million kina worth of health and education infrastructure in PNG through the Incentive Fund.
Australia actively supports the Government of Papua New Guinea to educate its citizen’s and AusAID has purchased and delivered more than 1.5 million textbooks to schools throughout the country.
A further 2.5 million textbooks will be bought and delivered, while 1,100 double classrooms and 450 teacher houses will be purchased and delivered by 2015.