Bougainville Good News Story: A bridge to an education- mekim na save at its best.

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Mekim na Save at its BEST-From Camillus Kabui

This foot bridge was built by youths from my village (Onove)  recently at the Panguna  tailings.

It now crosses the Jaba River that when flooded cut of access to approx. 3,000 people

And our children could not get to school

If the flood came up in the afternoon you would have to wait all night to cross in the morning.

All manpower and no machines. It took them exactly 2months 2 weeks to complete.

No qualified engineer was on sight to assist.

Their engineer and leader is a grade 6 dropout.

For scaffolding they built platform from trees and bamboo.

The bridge was built from scrap from downed power pylons.

The bridge is about 60 metres in length and 15meters high.

Now children can get to our community  Joseph Canisius Kabui Memorial School; Kavaronau all year round

This year I have been supporting the school by arranging for a donation of Kindles electronic ereaders (holding up to 1,400 books)

Next year we hope to have 20 Kindles in the school

If you would like to help the great work of our community this Xmas DONATE here

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Sign of School building

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Picture above James Tanis presenting the first 5 Kindles to the school this year

 

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

 

Bougainville Education News :Essay competition is an opportunity for students to have their say about the Bougainville’s future

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A new essay competition for secondary and high school students in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will provide youth with an opportunity to have their say about the future of the region.

Revised Closing date Friday 13 March 2015

The topic

“Is having a vote enough? What are citizens’ responsibilities in promoting and upholding democracy?”

aims to engage youth in discussion and what they see for their own future as Bougainvilleans.

Sponsored by the Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea, the competition offers a laptop computer as a first prize.

The secondary and high school that the winning student attends will receive a Kindle (Can hold up to 1,400 books) from the Arawa based Bougainville E-reader Education Revolution Project that currently has 55 Kindles being distributed to 11 schools throughout Bougainville. SEE WEBSITE

Entries are open now and close on Friday 13 March 2015

The essay competition is open to all high school and secondary school students in Bougainville. Essays are to be 600 – 1000 words.

Entries can be mailed or submitted in person to the Australian High Commission Buka Office, Tsirin Motors Building, Haku Street, Buka or emailed to Public-Affairs-PortMoresby@dfat.gov.au

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Bougainville Education News: Education is a Bougainville Government priotity

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In Bougainville, the Autonomous Bougainville Government regards education as one of its priority sectors.

And in terms of the development of the performance and standards of education as revealed by the ABG Deputy Secretary for Policy Paul Kebori, it is very important that we continue to monitor and evaluate the performance of our teachers so that our children can benefit by being able to learn at the highest level possible.

BY JENNIFER NKUI : Picture above Books and Kindles being donated to Nariana Elementary School: Metonasi Region: Nagovisi, Via Panguna ,Central Bougainville www.bookgainville.com

When giving his welcome speech during the opening of the combined regional rating conference at Hutjena Secondary School yesterday, Mr. Kebori urged the standard officers to give credit to teachers where it is due saying our teachers are hardworking and they work in some of the most challenging environments in Papua New Guinea and especially in Bougainville.

He stressed that it is only good that when they go through the rating conference, the officers must look at this challenges and in doing so we can continue to improve the standards of education in Papua New Guinea.

Mr. Kebori believes that the rating conference will be a success and that it will amount to the development of education and the development of standards within the education sector.

Mary Remi who also addressed the conference participants that day asked that the results of the ratings be used appropriately.

The acting secretary for the ABG department of education explained that appropriately means that the results of the ratings will enable some new graduates to be registered as teachers and it will also enable some to move up the ranks to gain eligibility to the next level while there are some whose reports have been deemed unsuccessful.

Therefore when Ms. Remi said that the results of the ratings be used appropriately, it means giving promotions to teachers where it is due and whereby there are unsuccessful reports, that means it also requires assistance from everyone to further develop professional growth for our teachers.

She then stressed that the appraisal of teachers is one major element that contributes to quality academic performance as well and as a result, this rating conference is not only to assess but has other implications.

181114PNG EDUCATION ACT NO LONGER APPLIES TO BOUGAINVILLE

BY JENNIFER NKUI

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In the light of the enactment of the new Bougainville Education Act on April 29 this year, the Bougainville education system is now governed by the new Act and hence the Papua New Guinea Education Act no longer applies to Bougainville.

This was revealed by the ABG education minister John Tabinaman when opening the combined regional rating conference at Hutjena Secondary School yesterday morning.

When highlighting some changes to governance in the new Act, the minister pointed out that compulsory education as stipulated in section 3 of the new Bougainville Education Act says that compulsory education for Bougainville will be from elementary prep up to grade 8 and this will come into effect in 2017.

As explained by the minister, this is to give ample time to his department to carry out awareness to all stakeholders and plan accordingly to address planning and financial implications of that concept.

He went on to say that the Act also stipulates under section 17 that members of the Bougainville Education Board can only be Bougainvilleans which is a step towards ensuring that home grown ideas and concepts are encouraged in setting strategic directions in the education policies and policy guidelines that are developed.

Further to that, the Bougainville Education Board will have two ex-officios and will no longer be chaired by the secretary who is the chairperson of the current board.

Minister Tabinaman then stressed that gender balance is called for in the New Bougainville Education Act.

He explained that this is to ensure that both women’s and men’s voices are heard in the decision making process.

If you would like to support Bougainville education DONATE here

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Bougainville News: Bougainville voices raised in anger in new PNG Crocodile Prize Anthology

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Overall award for the book of the year, the inaugural winner of which was Leonard Fong Roka for his memoir, Brokenville, which brings a child’s eye view to the civil war on Bougainville. Pictured above in Buka where he is now working for the Bougainville Government.

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DRUSILLA MODJESKA | The Australian

THE better part of a decade ago, Papua New Guinean writer Regis Tove Stella said what his country needed was writers, far more of them than there were, to claim, or reclaim, the role of ‘‘visionary’’ and witness.

He concluded his 2007 book, Imagining the Other, with an elegant argument that it was only when the writers and intellectuals served as ‘‘watchdogs’’ alert to the ‘‘bleak’’ political realities and spoke out against corruption and greed — ‘‘the rape of a country’’ — that change would begin where it mattered: in the minds and hearts of a people.

In 2007 in PNG, a time of little publishing and all too few writers, let alone readers, it seemed a frail hope.

But PNG’s people have always been great storytellers and debaters, and while there may not have been many novels published and read since independence in 1975, there have consistently been a few noble souls who have taken the role of witness and poet.

Oral storytelling remains a reality for many, the stories that are told folding recent histories into those handed down from past generations. And newspapers do a busy trade in markets across the country. You see them read, and being read to those who cannot read.

So maybe Regis Stella, who died in 2010, would not have been surprised had he lived to see publication of the fourth Crocodile Prize anthology, a celebration of PNG poetry, fiction, essays and heritage writing.

When I reviewed the second anthology, towards the end of 2012, I was celebratory, but also tentative — as were many of the writers.

Two years later, in this anthology with 66 writers represented — among them writers from previous years and a heartening number of new, young voices — much of this tentativeness has gone.

A new generation of Papua New Guineans is claiming the written as part of their storytelling, debating inheritance — theirs as surely as any technology that comes with a post­colonial modernity.

I write and write / Like my forefathers before me / My blood is the ink on my paper …

This, from Diddie Kinamun Jackson’s Crocodile Prize winning poem, As a writer, opens a meditation on Melanesian expression that would have pleased Regis Stella.

But for the most part the mood of this anthology is less meditative. Anger is a dominant emotion — anger and loss — which could hardly be otherwise for a generation living with high levels of urban dysfunction, violence and ­corruption.

There are tough stories to be told, and so we read short stories about children finding neighbouring children shot dead; a girl killing herself because she’s pregnant; a widow struggling to raise her children with no money for school fees; a girl in a green dress raped and dumped in a drain.

The Crocodile Prize-winning story, Agnes Maineke’s, While war raged in Bougainville there was a miracle at Haisi, is about a woman giving birth in a remote hut during the civil war on Bougainville.

Bloodlines and dynasties / Disrespected and destroyed / Love, respect and honour / Erased by the power of rifles

With these lines, another Bougainville writer, Marlene Dee Gray Potoura, begins her story of a little girl woken at dawn during that vicious war.

As men with guns surround the village she escapes the carnage that follows by running into the forest, the gun-toting ‘‘crawlers’’ in pursuit.

‘‘The whole forest was angry,’’ Potoura writes, and in a smooth movement she takes us from the stark realism of the guns to a forest in which trees think, feel and act in unison.

And so a ‘‘grandfather tree’’ uproots itself ‘‘in seconds known only to the secrets of the forest’’ and its ‘‘hard old trunk’’ falls on the crawlers and kills them.

As it falls, its branches lift the girl to safety. The tree as a talisman for the power of an endangered inheritance.

‘‘Your guardian trees,’’ writes Michael Dom, a previous poetry prize winner. ‘‘No more you flame.’’

Gary Juffa’s poem on the ‘‘supposed concern’’ and ‘‘pockets filled’’ that accompany the widespread and often illegal felling of the forests, ends each stanza with the refrain: ‘‘And the trees keep falling.’’

It is in the essays that the corruption and greed underlying the violence and the dispossession are named. Where the essays in the earlier anthologies hinted and gestured, here there’s a confidence, a refusal to collude or be silenced.

Blogger and social media activist Martyn Namorong writes of counter-corruption, of corrupting the corrupters.

Bernard Yegiora questions the voting system, the pork-barrelling, the ‘‘wari-vote’’ that can get a corrupt politician back into power when the voters want the handouts back.

‘‘The race within the race,’’ Bernard Witne calls it, as money outstrips policy, and everyone, in large ways and small, is out to ‘‘thicken their purse’’.

Is a Westminster system developed over centuries on the other side of the world the best model for a country of 800 languages and tribes? What would, or could, a Melanesian democracy look like?

And so the question is reopened, first raised in 1980, of whether there is, or can be, a ‘‘Melanesian Way’’ out of this mess.

What system of government would, or could, give back to its people the resource-rich wealth of opportunity? Is it neo-colonialism that rules, as Namarong suggests? He ends one of his essays with the hope that his colleague Nou Vada, who appeared in the earlier anthologies, will one day be prime minister.

‘‘The day a boy from Hanuabada becomes prime minister will be the end of colonisation,’’ he writes. Another frail hope?

There’s been many a local boy, though not from Hanuabada, who have taken the role. Some of them did it well, but were too often replaced by those who fill their pockets from the coffers of state.

On the other hand, if anyone doubts change is possible, contemplate Gary Juffa, who has 10 pieces in this anthology. His story of going on a picnic as a child with a saved packet of noodles, picking tomatoes and shallots in the gardens as the picnickers walked to the river, is one of the best in the collection.

The clouds come over and the group scrambles up the rocks to the road. They make it home to discover two children shot outside their father’s tradestore.

Juffa is now a member of the PNG parliament and, since 2012, governor of Oro Province that takes in Kokoda and its famous track. One of his first acts as governor of a once deeply corrupt province was to put a moratorium on all land deals, logging and resource extraction pending audit and review.

“‘The days of watching our resources be shipped out for whatever scraps have been throw at us is over,’’ he said.

His essays are tough and fearless, impressive by any standard and from a politician remarkable. From a politician in PNG, they could also be considered foolhardy. His first term in parliament showed him how reluctant his fellow members were to speak on national issues for fear of losing access to government funding needed to keep their electorates happy.

In Tribe Versus Nation: Observations on PNG’s Core Challenge, he writes of being warned ‘‘by a particular minister’’, and it indeed proved the case that when this year’s budget was handed down, he saw that he and his province had been well and truly ‘‘punished’’.

There are those who urge him to keep quiet, to think only of what he can do for Oro with the money silence buys, but he says he will not.

While tribalism ‘‘is necessary for the preservation of culture, language, [our] unique identities’’, the future of PNG — the ‘‘core challenge’’ if there is to be any possibility of a better way, a Melanesian way — depends on a leadership willing to renounce the power of playing tribe against tribe, and speak for the wider collective consciousness.

Even if it costs him the next election, he will continue to speak out, he says, because something has begun, ‘‘the stirrings of change’’ are afoot. ‘‘The concern is now a small seed, but it is growing and growing fast.’’

We can only hope he is right. Change will not come easily, and it will not come fast. At the time of writing Juffa, halfway through his, was facing a vote of no-confidence, orchestrated, according to media reports, by corporate interests.

ANOTHER sign of PNG’s literary stirrings is that this year there were two new categories in the Crocodile Prize. One was for children’s writing, sponsored by Buk bilong Pikinini, the children’s library organisation that is growing apace, bringing books and stories to children from impoverished urban settlements.

The other was an overall award for the book of the year, the inaugural winner of which was Leonard Fong Roka for his memoir, Brokenville, which brings a child’s eye view to the civil war on Bougainville.

Download Kindle from Amazon

The war, for him, began in class 2A at Arawa Community School. There was a commotion along his row of desks: the son of a policeman reported fighting in the mountains.

There had been rumours and strange behaviour among the adults, and this time even the teacher stopped to listen. The division was right there in that classroom, between the dark-skinned children of Bougainville and the ‘‘redskin’’ children of parents from the mainland.

At first it is clear enough for the young Roka. It’s us against them. Our island. Their government. Our land. Their mine.

The reality, of course, proves less clear cut for a boy whose father was a ‘‘redskin’’ from West New Britain and whose mother is from Bougainville. He has relatives on all sides. There are those who depend on the economy generated by the mine; there is his uncle, Joseph Kabui, a senior man in the militant interim government.

Over the next years, before he can return to school, Roka will learn a great deal about war and tribalism, the contradictions of a nation drawn from colonial borders, about moral ambiguity, about betrayal and possibility.

‘‘I owe much to [that] crisis,’’ he writes in his acknowledgments. ‘‘It made me who I am.’’

It is in such writing from Bougainville, perhaps not paradoxically, that the pulse of change ticks most strongly.

Drusilla Modjeska’s most recent novel is The Mountain. She is founder of not-for-profit SEAM Fund, which supports literacy in remote communities in PNG. www.seamfund.org

The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2014, edited by Phil Fitzpatrick, Pukpuk Publishing, 512 pp, $15 from Amazon

Brokenville by Leonard Fong Roka, Pukpuk Publishing, 239pp, $10 from Amazon

Help us produce more Bougainville writers by donating today to Bookgainville

 

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Bougainville News: “Large-scale Mining and Risks of Conflict Recurrence ” new research

 

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Abstract Research on conflict resolution suggests that the significant risk of conflict recurrence in intra-state conflicts is much reduced by political settlements that ‘resolve the issues at stake’ between parties to the conflict, and that in conflicts involving grievances about distribution of natural resource revenues, such settlements should include natural resource wealth-sharing arrangements.

DOWNLOAD: Bougainville :Large-scale Mining and Risks of Conflict Recurrence  here ANU Regan Bougainville Research

Author: Anthony J. Regan (see Bio Below)

This article shows that the Bougainville conflict origins involved far more complexity than natural resource revenue distribution grievances, and that the conflict itself then generated new sources of division and conflict, the same being true of both the peace process and the process to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).

As a result, the BPA addresses many more issues than natural resource-related grievances. Such considerations make it difficult to attribute lack of conflict recurrence to particular factors in the BPA.

While the BPA provisions on wealth-sharing address relations between the Papua New Guinea National Government and Bougainville, moves by the Autonomous Bougainville Government to explore possible resumption of large-scale mining has generated a new political economy in Bougainville, contributing to new tensions amongst Bougainvilleans.

Research Conclusion

On the basis of this case study of Bougainville, I conclude that natural resource distribution issues were a significant factor, amongst many others, in the origins of the conflict. In addition, it was a factor that aggravated many other factors.

Moreover, many other divisions, sources of conflict and actual conflicts developed as a consequence of the dynamics of not only the conflict itself, but also of the peace process, and the process of implementing the BPA. Indeed, the tensions developing over mining related issues since 2005 are emerging as part of the dynamics generated by implementing the BPA.

These are largely tensions internal to Bougainville. As a result, there is limited utility in the natural resource revenue distribution arrangements in the BPA, developed mainly to respond to the contribution of natural resource distribution issues to conflict between Bougainville and PNG. On the other hand, natural resource distributions certainly were a significant source of conflict both between PNG and Bougainville, and amongst Bougainvilleans.

It was entirely reasonable for those negotiating for the BPA to include provisions intended to respond to the issues that had divided PNG and Bougainville in the 1980s, by giving the ABG power to determine mining policy and law for Bougainville, and to receive the major part of mining revenues. But it was too difficult for them to tailor arrangements in 2001 that could realistically respond to natural resource distribution issues that had divided Bougainvilleans in the 1980s (mainly issues related to the inequitable distribution of the limited natural resources revenues then available to Bougainvilleans).

In giving effect to its new right to make mining policy and law, the ABG has inadvertently helped generate a new political economy in Bougainville, where new outside interests in alliances with significant Bougainvillean interests, are engaging in a struggle for a significant degree of control over resource revenues and mining powers. These developments have ensured that the main divisive issues relating to natural resource distribution are no longer between PNG and Bougainville, but are instead between Bougainvilleans (as even the outside interests have no leverage without Bougainville partners).

The Bougainvillean negotiators for BPA did not include provision on dealing with such new sources of internal Bougainville tensions related to natural resource distribution, not only because they were not anticipated, but also because it would have been virtually impossible to do that at the time.

Rather, their key assumption was that by establishing a strong and legitimate autonomous government, thereby empowering “Bougainvilleans to solve their own problems, manage their own affairs and realize their own aspirations”, and with “sufficient personnel and financial resources … to exercise its powers and functions effectively”,41 there would be a Bougainville government body capable of developing policy broadly acceptable to all interests, and of dealing with disputes between Bougainville interests when they do arise.

But at present, the ABG still has limited capacity, and developing appropriate mining policy and law takes time and resources, and implementing it effectively takes more. Some of those attacking the ABG have strong interests in the ABG remaining weak. Their increasingly strident attacks on the ABG are being made for the clear purpose of getting control of revenue and power.

There is a real political and economic struggle taking place, and the eventual outcomes are as yet far from clear. One irony here is that the ABG is seeking mining revenue in order to build the capacity needed to achieve either real autonomy or independence, when there are now risks of serious tensions and disunity that could undermine Bougainville’s prospects for achieving either goal. There are particular risks here given the ongoing presence of armed factions in Bougainville. In these circumstances, there is an urgent need for the international community and the activist community to recognise where the real tensions and dangers of conflict lie.

Whilst the current tensions concerning natural resource distribution are mainly within Bougainville, there are still possible sources of dispute between PNG and Bougainville. One concerns possible difficulties in negotiating distribution of mining and other tax revenues additional to the recurrent grant should any future large-scale mining project result in those revenues being sustainably higher than the amount of the grant. In relation to issues about the Panguna mine’s future, tensions could arise over various issues if in fact BCL were to be permitted to return, including over any move by PNG to expropriate Rio Tinto’s majority equity in BCL, and over any difference that might occur over the ABG’s entitlement to have the PNG 19.3 per cent equity transferred.

Turning, finally, to the risk of conflict recurrence in Bougainville, we can clearly set to one side the BPA provisions on mining. The real questions now concern whether a strong and legitimate ABG can emerge that can manage the many sources of tension and conflict inherent in the circumstances of post-conflict Bougainville, including those internal tensions concerning mining.

The difficulties for the ABG in managing such tensions are not small. They include, in particular, the situation of marginalised youth, as we have seen, in so many ways so similar to the situation in Bougainville in the late 1980s. The history of the conflict from 1988 demonstrates that sources of anger in such a significant marginalised group can be unleashed in unexpected ways, especially where contributed to, or aggravated, by natural resource distribution issues. Discussing two natural resource related insurgencies in Nigeria, political geographer Michael J. Watts said:

The energies unleashed among a generation of marginalized youth is astonishing; the reservoirs of anger is [sic] now very deep having been filled by the waters of resentment over many decades. That the resentments can and have been channelled into all manner of claims, aspirations and practices (complex mixtures of greed and grievance) the borders among which are labile and porous should surprise nobody.

If the struggle over control of mining in Bougainville continues, without the ABG’s authority being accepted, the outcomes will be unpredictable. All points of tension and conflict involved in or arising from this struggle are likely to be intensified by the approach of first, the ABG general election, and second the referendum on independence, and by the intersections between the political and economic struggles associated with those processes, on the one hand, with the struggles over mining.

 

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About the Author Anthony Regan is a constitutional lawyer who specialises in constitutional development as part of conflict resolution. He has worked as a lawyer, policy adviser and researcher in Papua New Guinea for over thirty years, and is currently a Fellow with the State, Society and Melanesia program at the Australian National University. Formerly an adviser to Bougainville parties during the Bougainville peace process, Anthony is now an adviser to the Autonomous Government of Bougainville. anthony.regan@anu.edu.au

 

Bougainville Media News: Bougainville’s first mobile community radio station launched

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By Aloysius Laukai

The Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Bureau of Media and Communications has bought a Suitcase radio that will be used to carry out awareness throughout Bougainville.
This is despite the ABG signing an MOU for a 60/40 Content agreement with the National Broadcasting Corporation at the beginning of this year to carry out awareness on the NBC Bougainville network.


Following this MOU a support grant of FOUR MILLION KINA was pledged to support NBC Buka to reach the entire region.


The FM radio similar to the one used by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, Radio Free Bougainville during the height of the Bougainville conflict will be moved from locations to locations to carry their awareness program.


According to reports gathered by New Dawn FM this is funded with TWO MILLION KINA by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (AUSAID) (DFAT).
The new radio CALLED “Radio PLES LAIN” will be launched at the BEL ISI PARK on November 6 and 7th, 2014.

They have been testing their signals in Buka on 98.6 Megahertz on the FM BAND.


Meanwhile New Dawn FM a local radio operating from Buka since 2008 has signed a grant deed agreement with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to Produce, screen and distribute six awareness videos in Tok Pidgin language to raise awareness about missing persons, war widows, government corruption and the three pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement

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Bougainville News : A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea

JM PO

“The positive results revealed by the survey not only show that progress in service delivery is possible in Papua New Guinea, but also show how progress can be made. A large chunk of the report is devoted to understanding the impact (or lack of impact) of recent reforms, such as free health and education, and the reasons for the differences and trends that we observe.”

The full report, a summary, and a two-page overview are available here.

A report based on two surveys ten years apart and two years of analysis has been  by a team of researchers from the National Research Institute (NRI) and The Australian National University (ANU).

In 2002, the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (NRI), in collaboration with the World Bank, surveyed some 330 primary schools and health clinics across the country, from the national capital to the most remote districts. In 2012, NRI, this time in collaboration with the Development Policy Centre at ANU, went back to many of the same primary schools and health clinics in the same eight provinces, this time surveying a total of about 360 facilities.

The end-product is a data set of unprecedented detail and depth in relation to service delivery in PNG. Indeed, very few countries around the world can boast of a panel survey of facilities of this type which enables comparisons to be made over time.

The NRI-ANU research team has spent the last two years analysing the data sets, and today released their results at the report launch at the NRI campus in Port Moresby.

The report, A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea, shows that PNG’s primary schools have expanded rapidly over the last decade, but that fewer services are now provided by its health clinics.

Since the difficulties of service delivery in PNG are already well-known, what is perhaps more interesting are the areas of progress shown in the report. There were 89 per cent more children enrolled in the average PNG primary school in 2012 compared to 2001. Whereas there used to be one girl at primary school for every two boys, now there is almost one girl for every boy. The number of teachers has grown by a third over the decade, and the share of female teachers has grown from a quarter to a half. The number of ghost teachers (teachers claiming pay but not actually working) has fallen dramatically. The average school has more and better classrooms, teacher houses and textbooks. More have drinking water and electricity.

Of course, PNG’s primary schools and – to a much greater extent – health clinics still face many challenges. A third of classrooms require rebuilding: the same share as in 2002. Class sizes have increased a lot, and there are broader concerns about the quality of education on offer. Though the number of children in school has certainly increased, absenteeism has risen.

Nevertheless, the positive results revealed by the survey not only show that progress in service delivery is possible in Papua New Guinea, but also show how progress can be made. A large chunk of the report is devoted to understanding the impact (or lack of impact) of recent reforms, such as free health and education, and the reasons for the differences and trends that we observe.

Getting finances to the service delivery front-line stands out as critical. A lot more funds are reaching schools today than health clinics. About 40 per cent of health clinics receive no external support at all (in cash or in kind), whereas nearly all schools receive the twice-yearly subsidy payments. And schools receive more than twice as much funding than they did ten years ago, even after inflation. What they have lost in school fees they have more than made up for through generous government support.

Local governance and supervision also matter. Schools have mature and increasingly powerful Boards of Management which provide local oversight. They receive community support through P&C Committees. And most schools are inspected.

Resolving workforce issues is also key. The Education Department has been able to hire new teachers, whereas many retired health workers continue in place since there is no-one to replace them. Significantly, about half the health workers we interviewed felt they were not being paid at the correct grade. That was true of teachers ten years ago, but now it is only 10 per cent. Again, progress is possible.

In summary, getting funding to the front line, providing community and administrative oversight, and sorting out human resource problems seems to be the secret for the success of PNG’s primary schools. It is a recipe that could be applied more to primary health care, perhaps starting at the bigger district-level facilities.

Regular monitoring of basic data across PNG is critical for understanding what is working, what isn’t working, and why. Without it, we will be in the dark about service delivery. We look forward to the discussion that we hope our report will generate. In our next phase of research, we’ll be going back into the field to undertake more detailed case studies to better understand the conditions required for service delivery success. And perhaps in another five years or so we’ll be able to further develop this unique data set by undertaking another nationwide facility survey.

Professor Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre. Andrew Anton Mako was a Research Fellow at NRI for most of the duration of this project. Dr Grant Walton and Dr Anthony Swan are Research Fellows at the Development Policy Centre. Dr Thomas Webster is the Director of the National Research Institute. Colin Wiltshire is the Project Manager for the PEPE project at the Development Policy Centre.

The NRI-ANU PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure (PEPE) project aims to understand how Papua New Guinea allocates its public funds and how these funds are provided to and used by those responsible for delivering basic services. PEPE is supported by the Australian aid program through the Economic and Public Sector Program (EPSP).

The full report, a summary, and a two-page overview are available here.

Our previous blog posts on PEPE research are collected here.

Bougainville News : Reflections of turtles and our culture

Simon Turtle

Story by Simon Pentanu Pok Pok Island

When I was a kid growing up we use to see a lot of greenback turtles on the sea  surface around our waters.They would come up to breathe every now and then. Leather back turtles were also around but they were not as numerous. The old people use to say leatherbacks preferred less populated and less travelled sea lanes and preferred to go ashore to bury and hatch their eggs on black beaches. 

Our mode of sea transport was canoe of course. The indomitable motorised Yamaha boats flooded Bougainville very quickly only following the advent of mining on the Island. Anyways, with canoes we could paddle very close to the turtles, as kids we were tempted to jump on them but tales of turtles taking kids into the deep were told to us to discourage us. You could say that this and similar fables served a very practical conservation purpose. 

There are greenback turtles still around but the hunting “grounds” for the big ones are far and away from the Island. These days they are caught mostly for feasts and other special occasions. On the rare occasions when young turtles have been sold alive at the fish market at Mangkaki, I’ve seen expat NGOs and other visiitng folk buy them and walk down to the beach and release them to swim away into their habitat. There is no doubt the message has been clearly understood and you will not see any live turtles being sold amongst the fish. This has not stopped turtle meat being sold though, it has its own deicacy. But it is an achievement that RSPCTF (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Turtles and Fishes) would be proud of. 

The last time I was home just last month I thought a lot about turtles while my daughter and two villagers were on a picnic day out on Tausina Island. I thought then, if there aren’t turtles to see on the day we should imitate some turtle postures, turtle swimming, turtle spins, turtle flaps and getaways. Turtle whatever !! 

So here, in this photo I have turned turtle imitating a turtle float. I am a really huge turtle, a leatherback if you like, afloat and lost to the world. You will notice that I am floating face up with my back down. Turtles float and swim with heads and beaks down and backs up.

 

Bougainville Communication News: PNG to impose a cybercrime policy and mobile phone regulation

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COMMUNICATIONS Minister and Member for Central Bougainville Jimmy Miringtoro according to expert and technical analysis, will be the first Pacific island member of parliament to impose a cybercrime policy and mobile phone regulation.

With modern day crimes being committed using technology, it remains a threat and a grave concern for Papua New Guinea’s national security.

Republished from PNG LOOP

Speaking to PNG Loop the Minister stated things will be moving forward now for his ministry in technical terms, upgrading of systems and also imposing rules on the use of certain systems, programs and materials.

“Our main aim is to crack down on a lot of scams being done using our social networks such as Facebook and Twitter,’’  Miringtoro said. “It is now time to say no to these crimes that are being committed day to day by professional criminals.”

Miringtoro said his policy was published in both the nation’s daily newspapers and the policy was  clearly aligned with certain acts already in place. Namely the PNG Customs Act and the National Intelligence Organisation (NIO) Acts.

“In other countries these laws are already being practised, and people are abiding by it and PNG will be doing the same thing. Some people have been given a lot of freedom technology wise but they are also abusing that freedom which is bad,’’  Miringtoro said.

“For instance China being a communist nation has now banned Facebook. We’re lucky here in PNG that we’re only going to regulate it.”

Most terrorist organisations are recruiting using the internet and cyber thieves are also using the internet in order to steal from other people.

PNG will now be on a technological revolution this time to block and apprehend who ever commits a cyber-crime

– See more at: http://www.pngloop.com/2014/10/27/minister-sets-combat-cyber-crime/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.mdIqjP0F.dpuf

Bougainville News: Ex Arawa students support development projects for the high school

 

ex-arawa fundraiser

After a lot of voluntary and part-time preparations in the course of the year by some committed former students, the ex-Arawa High School reunion was hosted on Saturday night 25 October at Dynasty Restaurant, Vision City in Port Moresby.

It was a commendable effort by the Ex-Arawa High School Reunion Inc. through its students organizing committee. As this was the first attempt the committee should be pleased with the numbers that turned up and with the pledges for support for development projects for the school, now upgraded to Arawa Secondary High School.

Photo and text Secretary of the PBA Simon Pentanu

The old Arawa High School was not spared the torching and arson that decimated much of Arawa town which was one of the most modern towns in the country at the time. It is admirable that many of its former students want to give something back to the school as a way of saying thank you to the school and the teachers that prepared them for a life and future outside the classrooms.

In his opening remarks the Chairman of the organizing committee Mr Gordon Kevon spelled out that the primary objective of this inaugural reunion and for any future get-togethers and fund raising events is to raise funds for four projects that are the initiative of ex- students, to start with.

These are: 1) provide a 35kva generator set; 2) add a multi-purpose school hall; 3) additional teacher’s housing; 4) a new school administration block; 5) a computer room with proper attendant facilities.

Speaking at the Re-union, the President of the Port Moresby Bougainville Association Mr Paul Nerau said the objectives announced at the reunion and fund raising event may sound adventurous but the Committee and the ex-students have the right attitude.

Mr Nerau said nothing is impossible if we get our mind to things we want to achieve. The efforts starting at the first reunion are commendable. He encouraged all ex-students as well as others to contribute to a much greater cause which is the education for our future generation of Bougainvilleans. “What the former students of Arawa High School have done culminating in this successful event tonight should encouragement for ex-students of other high schools in Bougainville” said Mr Nerau.

For the record a list of corporate sponsors will be published to acknowledge and thank these sponsors for their generous support towards hosting the first reunion. Details of how and where future contributions can be made will also be published for the information of any ex-Arawa student anywhere in the country or overseas.

Speaking after the event the President, Mr Nerau and the Secretary of the PBA Simon Pentanu said the Association will cooperate in working with Ex-Arawa High Reunion towards its endeavors commenced at the reunion in Port Moresby.

The nature of most of this assistance will be to play a part in maintaining connectivity and interest with the major drives and initiative coming from the ex-students.

The Re-union organizing committee of Gordon Kevon (Chairman), John Becks (Deputy Chairman), and Committee members William Tondopan and John Lahis and deserve thanks and congratulations for the efforts and the fact that the Re-union has commenced and is a reality after 24 years.

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If you would like to donate e reader kindles to Arawa High School

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG