Thursday, January 26, 2012
Chan to fix Namatanai Secondary School
MINING Minister and Namatanai MP Byron Chan has assured concerned parents, students and staff of Namatanai Secondary School in New Ireland Province that he will continue his support for a major infrastructure overhaul of the school.
The Minister made the assurance after learning of a petition which went before the school’s board and administration by disgruntle parents, students and staff regarding the deteriorating state of the school infrastructure that needs major revamp.
A concerned Parents Working Committee chaired by Abraham Alapi has submitted a series of petition letters to the school’s administration and the District Administrator since November last year and the recent being just last month regarding their grievances and demands.
However, Minister Chan said he acknowledged the wear and tear of school buildings and facilities of Namatanai Secondary School over the years and will intervene to address the problem.
“I have always supported this school in other ways but not so much in major repair and maintenance since it is the only secondary school in my Namatanai electorate. I will continue to support the school through my Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee (JDP & BPC).
“I had requested a full maintenance proposal totaling K1 million which was to be funded under the Rehabilitation of Education Service Infrastructure program (RESI). When I submitted this proposal to all RESI stakeholders for funding I was told the funds had been exhausted and we missed out on RESI funding as a result.
“In December 2, 2011, I met a working Committee for Namatanai Secondary with the Principal and his Deputy Principal including the Chairman and other members who presented a report on the urgent work needed to be done in the school. I authorized K50,000 for immediate repair and maintenance to start and I am informed that work had commenced on this K50,000.
“My JDP & BPC also approved another K100,000 in early January 2012 for immediate release to continue the repair and maintenance work on the school. This will prepare the school for a smooth resumption of classes in February 2012,” Chan explained.
Minister Chan said, “NIPG did not receive any appropriated funds from Special Support Grants (SSG) and Infrastructure Development Grant (IDG) that is owed by MRA to the province and this failure led to many such important institutions are left unattended to such an appalling state. The State through MRA failed to pay outstanding grants and commitments to New Ireland to carry much needed repair and maintenance work which led to the bad state of Namatanai Secondary School”.
Furthermore the Minister said, “an additional amount of K3 million under Newcrest Tax Credit Scheme (TCS) that will be spent on Namatanai Secondary during the year for further facelift on the school buildings and facilities. This funding thankfully is supported by the New Ireland Provincial Government (NIPG) and me as the local MP. These funds are prioritized funding for Namatanai Secondary. I hope that every single toea of these funds are expended and accounted for so that the state of the school buildings and facilities been condemned get a real facelift because there is definitely more money now available for Namatanai Secondary maintenance”.
“I call on the contractors to work well within the short time remaining by doing diligent and quality work so that the children can start their classes as scheduled by the Department of Education. I also ask all the parents whose children will be attending Namatanai Secondary in 2012 to be patient and allow the identified maintenance work to go ahead unimpeded before the students can be asked to start classes for 2012,” Chan said.