Joseph Pintol – Principal, St. Anthony Utai High School

“Being in a remote place like this and having electricity like that is something above the sky,” says Joseph Pintol, Principal of newly established Utai High School, West Sepik Province.

Pintol couldn’t contain his joy when referring to the Mini Hydro power that was donated to his school by the Project Development Benefits in late 2021.

“We got machines to run in there and we’ve got typing to do and stuff like that. We use to use solar energy and a small generator that can only run for a certain amount of time.

“Having a regular power supply like this is something I cannot imagine, being in a remote place like this,” he said.

Pintol from Aitape, has just completed his 3rd year as the principal of Utai High School in December 2021.  The school is located in a very remote part of West Sepik where there are road access is a challenge. But he says he is quite happy where he is.

“In 2016 I was headmaster (at) Lumi High School and continued to 2017 and 18. Then I left for Telefomin but unfortunately the environment was not conducive for me so I came back. Then I was asked to come here in 2019. I accepted the offer and came and I haven’t regretted that. I like it here,” he said.

Pintol was very happy to see 22 out of 45 of his grade 10 students in 2020 made it to higher secondary school, and what’s more, two of his students made it into St. Ignatius Secondary in Aitape.

“To get into St. Ignatius is very tough because it is a best performing school in the province and also in the country. I am quite pleased with myself for having two of our students being taken in by St. Ignatius, despite all the odds we had to face in the school,” he added.

Frieda Kana