Minister shocked

The low enrolment of students at a technical college in Mt Hagen has left the National Planning Minister shocked and frustrated.

An unexpected visit by Minister Richard Maru to his former school alerted him to the years of neglect faced by the Mount Hagen Technical College, which in turn has affected student intake.

The Mount Hagen Technical College is currently facing shortage in staff housing, water supply and has rundown buildings and outdated equipment.

Touring the campus on the 16th of July, the Minister was advised by the school’s board of governors that most of the buildings have not been renovated since his attendance in 1977 and 1978.

While the institution can cater for up to 1,000 students, it currently enrols half that number due to its shortcomings.

“Mi no hamamas lo harim disla stori,” Maru said. “Mipla painim speis lo edukeitim ol mangi.

“I can tell you, the Government doesn’t even know any of this na nau mi kam na mi painim aut lo em. No one is giving us reports and telling us. Come on, we should increase the enrolment. So send a letter and just follow up and give me the full costing.”

Hagen tech currently offers diesel heavy equipment and motor vehicle mechanics, welding and carpentry and business studies. It hopes to introduce tourism and hospital next year however, they still lack the facilities and manpower.

A building has been constructed for the course but is yet to be fully completed. 

This situation, sadly, is also faced by other tertiary institutions around the country.

(Minister Richard Maru being taken on a tour by the school’s board of governors)

Carmella Gware