Sonoma Adventist College in East New Beitain took a step futher in promoting gender equality and quality education whenthey opened several AusAID-funded projects ontheir school campus yesterday.
The Seventh Day Adventist-run institution has thrived for many years to uphold a holistic, equal and quality education.
Most importantly, some ofthe new facilities will also benefitthe local community in bringing health and education services closer.
Guests tothe opening were welcomed Sonoma Adventist students, all dressed in traditional wear. Australiau2019s Deputy High Commissioner to PNG, Margaret Adamson, and Deputy Goverrnor Eremas Yareng were part ofthe visiting party, accompanied by members ofthe Australian AID team,Incentive Fund, Department of National Planning.
The mission-run college has long promoted gender equality and quality education, but lackedthe facilities to improverthese levels. The aim ofthe projects were to increasethe number of female graduates. Underthe direction of former principal Dr Samson Kuku,the school forthe first time, received a project worth 2.2 million kina.
u00c4tthe moment up until nowthe ratio is one girl [for every two boys] 1:2. We want to cut this down u2026 as of next year we wantthe ration to be 50 percent girls and 50 percent boys.u201d Dr Samson Kuku said
The projects included a new and renovated female dormitory, a new health clinic, nurseu2019s house and meri waiting haus, as well as a new food technology and health sciences block.
Ms Adamson congratulatedthe school and its female students. She saidthe projects will be able to educate more women in PNG, and in time changethe course oftheir futures to helptheir families, communities and country.
u201c..the opportunity of a future through education in certainly demonstrated by what is happening on this campus.u201d Margaret Adamson said.
Significantly,the surrounding communities will also benefit fromthese projects. The new health clinic will also serve an estimated 2 thousand people inthe Pala Virua ward council. The food technology block will be used to provide nutrition courses to interested members ofthe community.
Pala Virua Ward Councilor Veronica Naigu thanked AusAID andthe college for includingthe community in its development endeavors.
u201cu2026but we now, good people, havethe task of working togther to care forthe school forthe benefit of our communityu201d, Veronica Naigu said
Followingthe formal speeches, Ms Adamson and Deputy Goverrnor Yareng were invited to cutthe ribbons to officially openthe facilities for use.
The dormitories will be able to provide and extra 100 spaces for girls next year. Sonoma Adventist College, who contributed overr 300 thousand kina tothe projects, offer courses in carpentry, agriculture, teacher education and business studies.