Thursday 31st October 2014 – Port Moresby: Established in the 1940s, Bisiatabu Primary School is nestled on the high mountains of the Sogeri plateau in the Central Province of Papua New Guinea. This school, which serves the surrounding communities as near as Girinumu and as far as Sirinumu, has not seen any new infrastructure since the 1980s, operating out of old buildings which were once used as care centres by the Australian soldiers during World War 2. Classes were taught out of very run-down classroom, which in most other parts of the world, would be condemned and declared unfit for young children to attend school. But this is the resilience of our Papua New Guinea people, we make do with the resources available to provide education.
Generations of Koiari people have attended this school and new classroom infrastructure for the school has been a dream for students both young and old. Unfortunately, the dream always stayed a dream and never eventuated into a reality. After more than 30 years of waiting, Digicel PNG Foundation made this dream become a reality.
The Bisiatabu Primary School proudly launched and opened its new double classroom, valued at K 240,000 on Thursday 31st October 2014 in the presence of Digicel PNG Foundation, students, parents and members of the Sogeri community. For the teachers, students and parents of Bisiatabu, the classroom represents more than just new infrastructure, it represents the hopes and dreams of the 130 plus students who all have aspirations to make it to University.
"Digicel PNG Foundation is proud to be an education partner with Bisiatabu Primary School. As a Foundation, we focus on education because we strongly believe education is the single biggest opportunity you can give a child. This new classroom provides the environment for our children to grow and learn and achieve their dreams and amongst this group of children are the lawyers, doctors and engineers of tomorrow,” said Beatrice Mahuru, CEO of Digicel PNG Foundation. Speaking on behalf of the teachers of Bisiatabu Primary School, Mr Benjamin Jumarang expressed how the new classroom has boosted the morale of students, teachers and parents. “We are really happy that Digicel PNG Foundation came and built a new classroom for our students. Ever since construction started, there has been a great feeling of community and togetherness for the students, teachers and even parents of Bisiatabu Primary School. This new classroom has really boosted parents support for their children’s studies and we have seen them come to the school on the days they are not working in their gardens to dig the pits for the toilets and assist in whatever other way they can.”
The Bisiatabu Primary School classroom project is the first of Digicel PNG Foundation’s projects in the Sogeri area. To date, Digicel PNG Foundation has funded 380 classrooms projects across PNG’s 22 provinces and has re-invested K42.5m into marginalised communities, directly impacting more than 300,000 people.