Unis urged to forge partnerships

Minister of Public Service, Sir Dr Puka Temu has called on universities in the country to forge partnerships with national and international entities to strengthen their academic programs and allied activities.

Sir Puka made the call as guest of honour at Divine Word University’s 32nd graduation ceremony in Madang on Sunday 9th March, 2014.

Speaking on the DWU’s 2014 theme “International Partnerships for Quality of Governance, Learning and Research” Sir Puka saiduniversities need domestic and international partners to improve themselves and meet expected benchmarks.

He said the government is a willing partner for the universities and the institutions must work with it.

Sir Puka said the government was pleased with its partnership with DWU and among the results of the relationship was the graduation of the pioneer group of senior public servants in the Master of Public Administration (MPAdmin) on Sunday.

Six senior public servants graduated in the MPAdmin program out of an initial nine civil servants that took up the study in 2011 under the sponsorship of the Public Sector Workforce Development Program (PSWD) administered by the Department of Personnel Management.

“I am very, very happy to witness the graduation of senior public servants in the master of public administration program,” Sir Puka said.

He said the graduates were a “product of an effective partnership between the government and Divine Word University”.

Other programs tailored for the public sectorthat also had their pioneer students graduate were the Master of Leadership in Development, Bachelor of Public Administration, Bachelor of Management (Customs) and National Advance Diploma in Government.

Sir Puka said as minister responsible for the public service he was pleased with the graduation of civil servants who would make a meaningful contribution to the nation.

“I urge public servants in middle and senior management to take up these studies,” the Minister said.

He applauded DWU’s strong emphasizes on ethics and ethical principles across all its academic programs as a Christian university led by the Catholic Church. Sir Puka said ethical conduct is as must-have ingredient across the spectrum of governance and leadership in the country.

He called on graduates to go out and make a mark for themselves, their families and the country.

Sir Puka said PNG is going through rapid economic growth and the trend would continue and urged the graduates to take part in it.

He said the government was seriously investing in the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to benefit the majority and DWU graduates ought to join in and become business people.

“I invite you to be part of these exciting ventures,” Sir Puka told the graduates.

Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Australia, PNG and Solomon Islands, His Excellency Pawel Milewski said in occasional address that education is extremely important for any country and congratulated the graduates for their achievements.

Ambassador Milewski in elaborating his message to graduates spoke about how education had helped his country Poland to overcome the effects of wars and communism.

He said countries that have invested well in education of their citizens have progressed and PNG must follow that path.

The Ambassador reiterated the importance of education by quoting two icons of the modern era Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi who both have highlighted the value of and educated society.

DWU Council chairman, Archbishop Dr Douglas Young said the university strives to do its best for the good of the country and the region. He said the university believes in the future of PNG and will continue to serve the society basing on the strong tradition of the Catholic Church to provide education for the people throughout the ages.

DWU President, Fr Jan Czuba reminded the graduating class members to see themselves as a privileged minority and the must value their qualifications and make use of them.

Fr Czuba called the graduates to use the skills and knowledge gained for the greater good of their communities and the country.

Over 730 students graduated at the Madang campus bringing the total number students to pass out of DWU and its amalgamated campuses to over 1400 for the 2013 academic year. Among those who graduated on Sunday were 79 post-graduate students, which included a doctor a philosophy (PhD).

The PhD was bestowed on career communication engineer Joseph Kim Suwamaru. Dr Suwamaru did his PhD study on the socio-economic impact of mobile phones. Dr Suwamaru has joined the teaching staff of the Department of Information Systemsin the Faculty of Business and Informatics at DWU. Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Hon Delilah Gore also attended the graduation. Other dignitaries included the Secretary of the Department of Personnel Management, Mr John Kali, Acting Secretary ofthe Department of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Mr William Dihm, Director General of the Office of Higher Education Professor David Kavanamur, members of the DWU Council, business representatives, sponsors and members of the churches. Parents, relatives and guardians of students also attended the ceremony in large numbers.