Madang campus gets four new staff houses

Divine Word University (DWU) welcomed the opening of four new staff houses in its Madang campus built through funding from the Government of Papua New Guinea on Saturday 20th August, 2016.

 They add to the twelve accommodation units that were opened by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in the Madang suburb of Nabasa on Saturday 10th May, 2015.

The four houses which have three bedrooms each are located at the staff residential property at Biliau near the Madang airport.

The houses built by DWU workmen was funded by the Government’s Public Investment Program (PIP).

The Department of National Planning and Monitoring Assistant Secretary (Social Sector) Mr Joshua Himina opened the houses on behalf of the Government via an electronic ribbon cutting ceremony at the Sir Peter Barter Auditorium before a site inspection and blessing of the houses by DWU Chaplain Father John Ryan SVD.

The opening was witnessed by DWU Council member Sir Peter Barter, DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou and her senior executive team and staff and students, Department of Treasury Assistant Secretary (Social Sector) Mr Gabriel Kaku and two officials from the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) Mr John Karani and Mr Molean Kichawen and members of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) and Holy Spirit Sisters, the two religious congregations responsible for establishing DWU.

Mr Himina said the Government sees DWU as a partner in nation-building through the provision of higher education and research and is willing to work with it.

He also commended DWU for making a notable progress by evolving over time from a high school that was started in 1968, to a college (Divine Word Institute – 1979-1995) and eventually a university (1996 onwards).

Mr Karani from DHERST also expressed similar sentiments adding that the DHERST considered DWU has a worthy member of the higher education and research family.

Professor Nembou said DWU has come a long way to be a national university with campuses in Madang, Port Moresby, Wewak, Rabaul and shortly in Mt Hagen after it fully amalgamates the Holy Trinity Teachers College run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Mt Hagen.

In thanking the Government for the PIP funding, Prof Nembou said any support from the Government to DWU is an invaluable contribution towards the building up of the human capital of the country.

The four houses are among a number of infrastructure projects at the Madang campus from K8.2 million funding received from the government last year out of an appropriation of K10 million.

DWU Vice President Corporate Services Mr Paias Bokorum said beside the staff houses, the University has already built and opened a water supply system for K500,000 and refurbished two dormitories from an existing 32 bedroom capacity to well over 144 bedrooms at a cost of K4 million.

He said a K2.7 million PIP funding received from the government will go towards the construction of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS) multi-lecture room building.

“This project however is underfunded due to the budget cuts in 2015.   “We require additional K2.5 million to complete this new building,” said Mr Bokorum.

He also said the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science multi-lecture room building is nearly 50 per cent complete.

Mr Bokorum said this building is being funded through a K6 million support from the Government for the newly introduced Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor Surgery (MBBS) program.

Meanwhile, Mr Karani of DHERST also conducted a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of the construction of the FASS building on the same day.