Highlands News

Exxon Mobil PNG Launches Hela Education Program

ExxonMobil PNG (EMPNG), operator of the PNG LNG Project, in partnership with the Hela Provincial Government, marked the launch of the Hela Education Program to support students across the province.

This program is the first of its kind as Hela Province reflects on a shared interest in strengthening education outcomes.

With a primary focus on secondary education (years 8 through 12), EMPNG’s funding support of K2.5 Million will enable the Hela Department of Education to support student tuition fees and related costs in 2022.

Governor Philip Undialu said, ExxonMobil PNG’s Hela Education Program represents the strong bond between Hela and ExxonMobil PNG.

“ExxonMobil’s Hela Education Program will provide over 3,000 students in Year 8 to Year 12 the opportunity to continue their education. This program will keep students engaged in the classroom, enabling our young men and women to obtain the education needed to not only help themselves and their families, but also to support the broader development of Hela Province,” Governor Undialu stated.

Director of the Hela Department of Education, Ronny Angu, was also present at the launch and thanked ExxonMobil for supporting his department’s efforts on behalf of Hela’s youth.

“ExxonMobil PNG has been a steadfast partner and good friend of Hela, and we look forward to seeing the positive results this new program will bring to our students and our province,” Angu said.

ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director Peter Larden thanked the Hela Department of Education and the Provincial Government under the leadership of Governor Undialu for prioritizing education as a critical foundation for Hela’s socioeconomic development.

“To the young women and men of Hela, we join the Hela Provincial Government and community leaders supporting the continuation of your studies. You play a key role in helping build a brighter today, and tomorrow for the Province and for PNG,” added Larden.

According to the Hela Department of Education, over the last few years secondary student engagement in Hela has become challenging due to families being unable to afford tuition, with the ongoing impacts of the 2018 earthquake and COVID-19 pandemic intensifying social issues further.

Since 2010, EMPNG has invested over K23 million in educational initiatives across Hela Province including infrastructure projects such as classrooms and teacher’s houses and wash facilities; educational materials; and teacher training.

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