PM commends DWU growth

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has praised Divine Word University for its continued growth and development in its 19 years of existence as a university.

The Prime Minister delivered the commendations at the SVD Memorial Auditorium of the Madang campus on Saturday, 9th May where he was the guest of honour for the opening of several infrastructure projects.

The projects the PM opened were an online study program, an academic administration building, a health clinic, and staff accommodation units and the Tuberculosis ward at the Modilon General Hospital which the DWU funded. Catholic archbishop of Madang Most Reverend Stephen Reichert OFM Cap blessed the infrastructures before the PM officially opened them.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Mr Malakai Tabar, Finance Minister Mr James Marape and Usino-Bundi MP Mr Anton Yagama.

Mr O'Neill said the developments taking place at DWU each year were in line with government policy and the government was impressed.

The PM said the government was focused on investing in education as a priority because with an educated population development and growth would be much easier.

“We believe that education can change our country and we are proud of the lead of DWU.

“Fr Jan (Czuba) and his team have done a tremendous job,” said Mr O'Neill.

Mr O'Neill paid tribute to Fr Czuba for his extraordinary leadership and efforts in developing the University since 1996.

Mr O'Neill also said the government will introducea tertiary students loan scheme in January next year to assist students who have fee problems. He said the loan scheme has worked in countries like Australia where many of their citizens received university education and repaid the loan when they worked.

Mr O'Neill also used the occasion to brief the DWU community and the public about the developments taking place under the four pillar policies of the government: education, health, infrastructure, economic growth and law and order.

Long serving DWU Council member and former Madang governor, Sir Peter Barter said the University was focused in developing the university and meeting targets according to its strategic plans which are segmented into 10 year periods. Sir Peter said since 1996 when the Divine Word Institute become a University under the leadership of Fr Czuba it has achieved its first decade strategic plans and has one more year left before for the second decade is completed and the University is on target to fulfill all the objectives before it moves to the third decade strategic plan.

Sir Peter also praised Fr Czuba for the exceptional leadership in growing the university from a modest college in 1995. He said Fr Czuba had an exceptional talent to engage with the government, donor partners and the wider community including his family in Poland to make things happen at DWU between 1996 and 2015.

“I am sure you have heard and seen the University grow under the leadership of Fr Jan who has been the driving force behind this progressive university,” said Sir Peter.

“And much of the credit must be given to his personal tenacity to lead by example, gain the respect of politicians, the public servants, the private sector which I am sure the PM admits is not an easy task.

“As the oldest and longest serving member of the DWU Council for two decades, I would like to publicly express my appreciation for his hard work, the fantastic team that has supported him, not least his own family in Poland,” said Sir Peter.