The groundbreaking ceremony was officiated by the late Minister for Education, Jimmy Uguro, local MP and Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru, and the Secretary for Department of Education, Dr. Uke Kombra.
This marked the elevation of the school from a junior high school to a secondary school and also commenced the construction of the secondary school.
Wingei High School is one of the newly established high schools in Yangoru-Saussia District. It was established in 2020 under the leadership of Minister Maru.
“The people of Wingei made the land available for free to have the school established because they have been looking for schools everywhere for a long time. This is one of the few places in my district where the people are willing to give free land for education.
“In the last three years after the school was established it has consistently outperformed many existing schools in the province, and in the district, they have been number one in terms of grade 10 examination results. Wingei High School has demonstrated good academic performance and has been so outstanding and they deserve to get a secondary school as soon as possible,” said Minister Maru.
“I want to thank the Headmaster, the Board, and the teachers of Wingei High School for their good work in the last three years. They have delivered, they have produced results, and they made sure that Wingei High School has merit to get a secondary school,” said Minister Maru.
Wingei Secondary School will be a boarding school that will serve all West Yangoru LLG and Roma and Ulupurin villages in Yamil-Tamawi LLG of Maprik District since the school is situated at the border of Yangoru-Saussia and Maprik District.
“Results all over PNG show that schools with high academic performance are mainly boarding schools. The plan and vision of the Yangoru-Saussia District Development Authority (DDA) is that we want to be number one in the province. We do not have gold and copper in Yangoru-Saussia District, but we have the best brains, and the only way that we can consolidate our position is by investing in education infrastructure and building more boarding schools in our district. Wingei High School, by merit deserves to elevate into a boarding secondary school."
Minister Maru said Yangoru-Saussia had been giving access to schools in the last 10 years and wanted to now focus on quality.
“Free School Fees, junior high schools, all strategies that have been introduced by the Department of Education only give access to all children to go to school, but we as a Government have never really focused on quality. Yangoru-Saussia DDA has decided that we have already provided the access and now we want to move on to focusing on quality. How do we deliver quality? We are investing in modern classrooms for early childhood in every community and we are going to focus on establishing more boarding high schools and secondary schools throughout our district. We want to be the model and to set the benchmark in East Sepik Province. When we set the standard and the benchmark the other districts in the province can follow suit. Yangoru-Saussia has topped East Sepik Province three years in a row in terms of grade 8 examination results. We are not satisfied with where we are. We want to do more,” said Minister Maru.
The late Minister Uguro committed K1 million to build a fully kitted science lab for Wingei Secondary School to support the Government’s vision to provide education to all children and to leave no child behind.
“I want to thank the Yangoru-Saussia DDA under the leadership of Minister Maru for taking the lead in funding the establishment of this school without calling on the Department of Education for funding. Now we are coming on board as a partner to assist in the elevation of Wingei High School to a boarding secondary school,” said the late Minister Uguro.
Minister Maru thanked the late minister for what would turn out to be one of his final works as Minister for Education, thanking Uguro for his commitment and said.
“The Yangoru-Saussia DDA in its budget for last year approved K6 million to invest towards our dream to make Wingei High School a boarding secondary school. With Minister Uguro’s commitment we now have K7 million. It will cost us over K10 million for Wingei High School to elevate to a fully-fledged boarding secondary school. This includes buildings of eight new classrooms, three science labs, water supply system, twelve new staff houses, mess, dormitories, a FODE centre, and a fence around the school. We are starting the construction this week. We will source further K3 million to complete all infrastructure and by next year we will have our first grade 11.”