25th May, 2016– Abau District, Central Province || Having received no formal assistance from the Government since its inception in 2010, the Rovarova Independent School was proud to launch a brand new triple-classroom building.
Present at the launch was Member for Abau, Hon. Sir Dr Puka Temu and members of Digicel PNG Foundation who are pleased to partner with such school administrators who go out of their way to provide education for communities who are marginalised.
Having realised the importance of the value of education for young children, Principal Voi Puana, used the experience of his 26 year teaching career to set up the school, all at his own expense.
Puana established the school after identifying that early education programs were a big need in his Aroma village and made it his aim to improve education standards in his area so that children develop a love for education at an early age and pursued it to secondary and tertiary levels.
When Puana began the school in 2010, his first student, was his own daughter who he taught on his home veranda Other students eventually joined the school bringing up enrolment numbers to 60 during the first few weeks. Rovarova Independent School currently has a total student enrolment of 100 plus students.
To cater for the growing number of students and also seeing the improved numeracy and literacy levels of his students, Mr. Puana was inspired to build a classroom that will provide a conducive learning environment for his students and teachers.
“The completion and opening of this classroom is a huge milestone for my school. We are extremely proud to open the doors today. My vision is to provide quality education services for the people of Abau and bring the education levels of my people to international standards so that my people grow up, become qualified and compete with other professionals and become meaningful citizens contributing to the development of our country,” Mr Puana said.
Puana informed the community that a library would be constructed on the bottom level of the classroom. To show his support for this initiative, the Member for Abau, Sir Dr Puka Temu announced a K100,000 pledge for the construction of the library..
CEO of Digicel PNG Foundation, Beatrice Mahuru congratulated Mr Puana and thanked him for the partnership with Rovarova Independent School:
“Through our Community Learning Centre (CLC) Program, we have supported Rovarova Independent School with teacher training, board members training and also rewards from our CLC Sustainability Program which is an incentive-based program encouraging CLCs to become self-sustained organizations. We are impressed to know that Rovarova also has an inclusive education program and has students with special needs attending this school. We guarantee a continued partnership and wish Mr Puana and his teachers and students every success.”
Rovarova Primary School is one of 22 CLCs supported by Digicel PNG Foundation who have a shared vision of improving education through the provision of early childhood education programs in rural, remote and socially marginalized communities.
To date Digicel PNG Foundation has funded 462 classrooms, 21 Mobile Health Clinics, 3 rural Health Aid Posts, 3 Women’s Resource Centres, co-funded 5 Family Support Centres in partnership with UNICEF and NDoH, graduated 261 grassroots community based teachers in early childhood development and learning and over 14,600 men and women are now equipped with basic business skills. 800 people with special needs, their families and communities have been impacted by the Community Based Rehabilitation Program; and the Men of Honour Awards – a campaign against violence in PNG, is the latest to the Foundation’s development portfolio.
Established in October 2008, Digicel PNG Foundation has directly invested K45 million in PNG’s rural, remote and marginalized communities across all 22 provinces directly impacting over 500,000 people.