With its elevation to secondary status, Lihir Secondary School on Lihir Island in Namatanai, New Ireland Province, is maintaining and building new teachers’ houses, classrooms and dormitories for an expected increase in student enrolment from next year.

This year will also go down in history as a first for education in Lihir when the secondary school witnesses the graduation of its first Grade 12 students towards the end of November. School principal Mr Willie Moab said: “The National Government’s free education policy had now allowed for more students to be enrolled, thus increasing the number of our student population.

“With this influx of students, we also anticipate space problems for teachers and students alike, hence the need for more classrooms and teacher houses.” School board of management chairman Mr Gabriel Tukas said under a tax credit scheme (TCS) initiated by Lihir gold mine developer, Newcrest Mining Limited, work had started on maintaining and building new teachers’ houses, classrooms and student dormitories.

The tax credit scheme is managed by the New Ireland Provincial Government, who decides on how funding would be allocated and utilized.

For Lihir Secondary, stage one phase one of its TCS project had been completed with the maintenance of all classrooms in 2013. Stage one phase one involved the renovation of 15 existing staff houses with three remaining. Mr Tukas said under stage two phase one of the project, Anitua Construction Ltd had laid the foundation and began work on three new staff houses and a four-in-one classroom building.

This year will also go down in history as a first for education in Lihir when the secondary school witnesses the graduation of its first Grade 12 students towards the end of November. School principal Mr Willie Moab said: “The National Government’s free education policy had now allowed for more students to be enrolled, thus increasing the number of our student population.

“With this influx of students, we also anticipate space problems for teachers and students alike, hence the need for more classrooms and teacher houses.” School board of management chairman Mr Gabriel Tukas said under a tax credit scheme (TCS) initiated by Lihir gold mine developer, Newcrest Mining Limited, work had started on maintaining and building new teachers’ houses, classrooms and student dormitories.

The tax credit scheme is managed by the New Ireland Provincial Government, who decides on how funding would be allocated and utilized. For Lihir Secondary, stage one phase one of its TCS project had been completed with the maintenance of all classrooms in 2013. Stage one phase one involved the renovation of 15 existing staff houses with three remaining. Mr Tukas said under stage two phase one of the project, Anitua Construction Ltd had laid the foundation and began work on three new staff houses and a four-in-one classroom building.

“With the elevation to secondary status, Lihir Secondary should have a total teaching staff of 24. At the moment, we only have 21 teachers on the payroll. We need three more teachers. “Getting them here will mean houses for them, and these houses are being built totaling 18. “As you can see, we still need six more houses,” Mr Tukas said. Deputy board of management chairman Ignatius Purmanil explained that stage two phase two of the TCS project would involve the construction of a science building housing two laboratories and two double-storey dormitories – one each for male and female Grade 11 and Grade 12 students.

“According to a preliminary construction plan and schedule, each of the dormitories will have 76 rooms, 38 rooms downstairs and 38 upstairs, and will be completed by July 2015,” Mr Purmanil said. He said there were also two incomplete buildings, “one being a science laboratory and a four-in-one self-help classroom funded by the Lihir Sustainable Development Programme (LSDP)”. “An initial LSDP funding of K200,000 was not enough. One of the buildings will cost up to K1.2 million.” Mr Purmanil said the completion of both projects would depend on the signing of the integrated benefits package and the eventual release of funds to LSDP.

“At this point in time, the school still needs additional infrastructures including six staff houses and a multi-purpose hall which is important to hold major events in an all-weather condition.”

Go to top