Enga’s fast-paced growth

While Enga was one of the final few areas to be declared a province just before independence, it is developing at a much faster pace than others.

The reason behind this is the prioritisation of its human resource.

In 1973, Enga was just a small district of Western Highlands Province. Governor Sir Peter Ipatas never fails to remind his people of this fact.

Forty-seven years down the line and the province is on its way to becoming PNG’s education destination, boasting high-quality infrastructure, state-of-the-art teachers and nursing colleges and highly qualified and properly trained teachers.

Speaking at the October 2nd opening of the four-level lecture complex at the Enga University Campus Irelya, Sir Peter emphasised that education is the key to development.

“We in Enga have embraced education as the way forward in this province,” he stated. “Because of our locality and obviously, because we were the last province to be declared a province in 1973, we have taken on board the policy of educating our population very seriously.

“In order for our population to be productive in the development of this country, we have to mobilise our own people and have them educated properly.”

Sir Peter said it had been a long and challenging journey for them since his election in 1997, and they were thankful when the national government got on board with the tuition fee free policy which was a great boost to the province and the nation as a whole.

“Let me remind Papua New Guineans, you must remember that because Enga was able to be focused on education, and the amount of students that we were producing through our institutions here in the province and throughout the country, it actually gave the then prime minister, Peter O’Neill, the idea that education was the way to go.”

The province has now embarked on establishing tertiary education institutions after completing its elementary to secondary phase.

The opening of the new teaching facilities and Information Communication and Technology (ICT) resources at the teachers college supports this vision.

(Australian High Commissioner, Jon Philp, officially opening the four-level lecture complex at the Enga University Campus Irelya in the presence of Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas, and Provincial Administrator, Dr Samson Amean)

Carmella Gware