Students in the new classroom with their teachers, funders and parishioners of the Catholic church.

Students and teachers of an early childhood learning centre in Ningerum LLG, Western Province, have reason to celebrate this Easter with the opening of their brand new double classroom.

The Inclusive Early Childhood Education Program (IECEP) School of the St Johns Parish in the Ningerum LLG built their classroom from a K60,000.00 donation made by three North Fly Women and Children’s associations of the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA).

Callan Services Kiunga Special Education Program, in partnership with the Catholic Church’s Daru-Kiunga Diocese, received the funding in 2021 and began construction in 2022.

Callan Services Kiunga Special Education Coordinator Mrs. Doris Amboman, said K20, 000 was used to build the classroom, and the balance will fund two teachers houses to be built at a later date.

Early learning encouraged

The double classroom at the St John’s Parish church grounds.

“This program is a preparatory stage before mainstreaming to Elementary School level. We take in 4-6 year olds and teach them simple play activities to learn their basic literacy and numeracy, shapes, sounds and phonics, rhymes, colours, and pre-reading. We give them a feeling of being in a classroom setting before entering formal elementary prep education,” she said.

“We get good support in the form of education tuition fee subsidy that comes to Callan Services Inclusive/Special Education component for uniforms, stationery, chairs, blackboards, sports equipment and the first classroom from the Catholic Church funding.”

She said: “My role as the Program Coordinator is to ensure teachers are happy, receive training through in-services and to seek opportunities for the growth and development of the school. I encourage the school Board of Management and the parents to take ownership and care of the facilities and have concern for their children’s future.”

She thanked the Tutuwe, Waitri and Nupmo women & children’s associations and the partnership with Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) for the timely support for the infrastructure project.

OTDF Programs Services Sustainable Development Manager Mr. Andrew Mari expressed appreciation to the commitment of missionaries towards development in PNG, particularly the Catholic Church, for the endless contributions in developing Western Province.

He said: “Western Province is a very difficult place to develop due to its geography, limited road links and vast wetlands. But development is achievable through partnerships with the community participation, private sector support, the church and the government working closely to secure funding for development in rural PNG.”

He said most importantly, transparency in project management and servant leadership are just as effective as the community ownership of such development projects.

OTDF Media