New dorms highlight Australian support for education


New dorm 1

The Australian government’s support for education in PNG continues with the opening of five new double storey dormitories worth K8.3 million at the Divine Word University on Saturday 29th March, 2012.

Head of AusAID in PNG, Stewart Schaefer delivered the keys of the dormitories to the President of DWU Fr Jan Czuba in a ceremony at the Madang campus.

The PNG Incentive Fund of AusAID funded the five dormitories – three for females and two for males – that will house 320 under-graduate students. This is the second time in 10 years that DWU received support from the Incentive Fund.

The first funding enabled the construction of the Friendship Library complex and the 500-seat SVD Memorial Auditorium.

The opening of the dormitories was witnessed by the university community and invited guests, Secretary of Planning and Monitoring, Dr Peter Kora, former Madang governor Sir Arnold Amet, DWU Council Member Sir Peter Barter and Catholic Bishop Francesco Sarego of Goroka who is also a council. Bishop Sarego also led a prayer and blessing of the buildings and the university community.

Mr Schaefer said the dormitories were part of Australia’s ongoing commitment towards the education of Papua New Guineans.

He said Australia’s overall annual bilateral support for PNG makes up 11 per cent of the budget and education is a significant component.

Mr Schaeffer said the Australian government supports education in the country in various ways including A$ 15 million for elementary education in support of the PNG government’s subsidised education policy introduced last year.

Dr Kora thanked the Australian government for its continued support and commended the PNG Incentive Fund as one of the most effective donor funded programs in the country.

He also praised DWU for providing the leadership that attracted the PNG Incentive Fund to provide second funding in 10 years.

Dr Kora said the leadership at DWU is making the university growing and becoming exemplary in the country and the region.

Fr Czuba thanked the Australian government for its support to DWU through the Incentive Fund and in other ways said the growing challenges in the country requires the contributions of the universities to find solutions.

“Today, I would like to formally acknowledge the great partner who is self-less for its contribution; the Australian government and its people are making by investing in DWU,” said Fr Czuba.

“Dr Mr Stewart Schaefer, on behalf of my Council, staff and students I would like to express our deep appreciation of the tremendous gift we received from AusAID, the form of the dormitories for our students,” he said. Fr Czuba said the support of AusAID is important as universities in PNG need to be prepared to address the myriad of challenges faced by the country.

“PNG is faced with big economic, social, cultural and political challenges thus our society more than ever needs to value the contributions which our universities are making towards the development of this land,” said Fr Czuba.

Longest serving DWU Council member and Madang businessman, Sir Peter Barter also thanked the Australian government and acknowledged the significant growth of DWU. Sir Peter said as someone who has been involved with the university indirectly and directly over many years, DWU has made “amazing progress”.

SYmbolic dorm keyBishop SaregoDisabled student