Bougainville Cultural Tourism News: Buin’s Tuiruma cultural festival ends on a high

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By Aloysius Laukai

Additional photos Bougainville Travel

The first ever three-days TUIRUMA FESTIVAL ENDS IN HIGH NOTEthat was held last week in Buin ended in high note with participants and the public wanting a permanent date set to attract more local and overseas tourists to visit the show in future.

The show was officially closed by the ABG member for BABA, WILLIAM SILAMAI who called on all participants and the people of Buin to maintain the good example they set during the festival to show unity of all Bougainvilleans.

MR. SILAMAI said that the smiles in all the participants faces only indicate one thing that is all were happy to be part of the three- days show.

MR. SILAMAI said that as declared by the co sponsor and member for South Bougainville, STEVEN KAMMA PIRIKA to rotate the venue they would prepare for the next show to be held in Siwai in 2015 and BANA in 2016.

The Show has 44 cultural groups, Arts, Crafts and carvers who were also excited to be part of the first TUIRUMA Festival.

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In his opening remarks the ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS said that cultural festivals is one sure way of uniting the people of Bougainville and his government will continue to support them in the future.

The Member for South Bougainville, STEVEN KAMMA PIRIKA also pledged ONE MILLION KINA in the next five years.

The Regional member for Bougainville, JOE LERA also contributed funds towards the staging of the TUIRUMA Festival and said that he was also committed to fund the Tuiruma festival and other festivals throughout the region.

Meanwhile, New Dawn FM managed to talked to several people regarding the three-days Tuiruma festival.

Police Commander for South Bougainville, Commander JOHN POPUI praised the people for maintaining peace throughout the festival.

He told New Dawn FM in Buin that 46 police personnel were engaged to look after the festival with the support of the South Bougainville Veterans Association.

One church worker said that the festival made it possible for their group to meet many people and a Businessman said that he had made extra monies during the festival.

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For International visitors you can book your 2015 Bougainville Festival Tour here

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

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“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: 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

 

 

Bougainville News: Promoting literacy with mobile phones in rural Papua New Guinea

Bougainville should be promoting literacy with mobile phones ?

hey, my ears are ringing -- might that be the Ministry of Education calling with today's lesson?
hey, my ears are ringing —
might that be the Ministry of Education
calling with today’s lesson?

Last year I spent some time in Papua New Guinea (or PNG, as it is often called), where the World Bank is supporting a number of development projects, and has activities in both the ICT and education sectors. For reasons historical (PNG became an independent nation only in 1975, breaking off from Australia), economic (Australia’s is by far PNG’s largest export market) and geographical (the PNG capital, Port Moresby, lies about 500 miles from Cairns, across the Coral Sea), Australia provides a large amount of support to the education sector in Papua New Guinea, and I was particularly interested in learning lessons from the experiences of AusAid, the (now former) Australian donor agency.

For those who haven’t been there: PNG is a truly fascinating place. It is technically a middle income country because of its great mineral wealth but, according to the Australian government, “Despite positive economic growth rates in recent years, PNG’s social indicators are among the worst in the Asia Pacific. Approximately 85 per cent of PNG’s mainly rural population is poor and an estimated 18 per cent of people are extremely poor. Many lack access to basic services or transport. Poverty, unemployment and poor governance contribute to serious law and order problems.”

Among other things, PNG faces vexing (and in some instances, rather unique) circumstances related to remoteness (overland travel is often difficult and communities can be very isolated from each other as a result; air travel is often the only way to get form one place to another: with a landmass approximately that of California, PNG has 562 airports — more, for example, than China, India or the Philippines!) and language (PNG is considered the most linguistically diverse country in the world, with over 800 (!) languages spoken). The PNG education system faces a wide range of challenges as a result. PNG ranks only 156th on the Human Development Index and has a literacy rate of less than 60%.  As an overview from the Australian government notes,

“These include poor access to schools, low student retention rates and issues in the quality of education. It is often hard for children to go to school, particularly in the rural areas, because of distance from villages to schools, lack of transport, and cost of school fees. There are not enough schools or classrooms to take in all school-aged children, and often the standard of school buildings is very poor. For those children who do go to school, retention rates are low. Teacher quality and lack of required teaching and educational materials are ongoing issues.”

[For those who are interested, here is some general background on PNG from the World Bank, and from the part of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that used to be known as AusAid, a short report about World Bank activities to support education in PNG from last year and an overview of the World Bank education project called READ PNG.]

If you believe that innovation often comes about in response to tackling great challenges, sometimes in response to scarcities of various sorts, Papua New Guinea is perhaps one place to put that belief to the test.

Given the many great challenges facing PNG’s education sector, its low current capacity to meet these challenges,
and the fact that ‘business as usual’ is not working, while at the same time mobile phone use has been growing rapidly across society,
might ICTs, and specifically mobile phones, offer new opportunities to help meet many long-standing, ‘conventional’ needs

in perhaps ‘unconventional’ ways?

A small research project called SMS Story has been exploring answers to this question.

Project overview

In the words of a very interesting impact assessment report [pdf] that was recently released (those pressed for time may just wish to make due with the executive summary [pdf]),

“The aim of the SMS Story research project was to determine if daily mobile phone text message stories and lesson plans would improve children’s reading in Papua New Guinea (PNG) elementary schools. […] The stories and lesson plans were designed to introduce children to reading English and followed an underlying phonics and key word based methodology. Teachers in the trial received a cartoon poster explaining how to use the daily text messages and received a total of 100 text message stories and 100 related text message lessons for two academic terms. They did not receive any in-service training. Research was conducted in rural elementary schools in two provinces, Madang and Simbu, and has involved a baseline reading assessment, mid-point lesson and classroom observations and an end-point reading assessment.”

Results and impact

The project, which was funded by the Australian Government and designed and managed by Voluntary Services Overseas, in partnership with the PNG Department of Education, was implemented as a small controlled experiment utlizing the popular Frontline SMS tool.

Some key results observed include (I am quoting directly from the evaluation report):

[-] Children who did not receive the SMS Story were approximately twice as likely to be unable to read a single word of three sub-tests (decodable words, sight words and oral reading). In other words the intervention almost halved the number of children who could not read anything compared with the control schools.

[-] The research did not find a statistically significant improvement in reading comprehension and generally children showed low reading comprehension skills in both grades and little progression between grade 1 and 2.

[-] All participating schools had very few reading books, if any, available in the classroom.

[-] In the absence of reading materials and scripted lessons in elementary schools SMS Story provides a simple and cheap strategy for raising reading standards.

The evaluation also notes that:

[-] There remained a worryingly large number of children who scored zero on the tests, particularly in grade 1, even after the intervention.

As Amanda Watson, one of the researchers, commented in a recent interview about the project with Radio Australia, “I think the content was really important, because no one involved in this trial would suggest that schools shouldn’t have books. We all would like to see more books in schools, but the reality is that in these schools there are very few books and so the content created a lot of enjoyment for both teachers and students.”

In addition to whatever value the content itself offered, Watson noted another benefit: “the teachers were actually receiving materials and ideas and suggestions daily. So rather than perhaps being given a training manual a couple of years ago or having been given a guide at the start of the school year or something. The teachers actually received almost like a reminder to teach, a bit of a motivator to keep teaching and they received that every single day and we think that really helped them to realise that they’re supposed to be teaching reading every single day, five days a week.”

While most of the attention of developers and researchers excited by potential uses of mobile phones in education focus on the creation and usage of various ‘mobile apps’ on smartphones, lessons from SMS Story project remind us that, in some of the most challenging environments in the world — especially rural ones — the existing infrastructure of low end phones offers opportunities for creative and innovative groups who wish to engage with teachers and learners in these communities. The results may not be ‘transformational’ on their own, and doing this sort of thing may not win any style points among the ‘cool kids’ in technology-saturated capital cities in much of the ‘developed world’ interested in the ‘latest and greatest’. That said, the best technology is often the one you already have, know how to use, and can afford. In a rural school in Papua New Guinea today, that technology is usually a mobile phone. In many other similar communities around the world, it may be well.

Those who would like more information about the SMS Story project may wish to read the full report on the VSO web site and/or a related paper [pdf] published by the researchers involved.


You may also be interested in the following post from the EduTech blog
, which draws on experiences and lessons from places like Papua New Guinea:
[-] 10 principles to consider when introducing ICTs into remote, low-income educational environments

Note: The image used at the top of this post of men from Koroboa in Papua New Guinea (“hey, my ears are ringing — might that be the Ministry of Education calling with today’s lesson?”) comes from the Wikipedian Yves Picq via Wikimedia Commons and is used according to the terms of its Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

Bougainvile Education News: Applications now open for prestigious Australia Awards scholarships

Applications now open

 

 

James Hall, the Australian High Commission’s Minister Counsellor with representatives from the PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons at their bi-annual conference held in Port Moresby.

On 1 October, the Australian High Commission opened applications for the prestigious Australia Awards scholarships. PNG’s next generation of leaders will have an opportunity to undertake tertiary study, research or professional development in Australia in 2016.

The Australia Awards team will conduct promotional roadshows across the country about the Awards. Visits will include provinces that have not been well represented in previous years including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Further information about the Australia Awards can be found at: www.australiaawards.org.pg

The first Australia Awards information session was held on Friday 3 October at the regional PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons meeting in Port Moresby. Factsheets, information booklets and posters were provided to each representative to disseminate through their regional disability networks.

Australia’s Minister Counsellor for Development Cooperation, Mr James Hall said, “More than 2000 Papua New Guineans have participated in the Australia Awards program since 1996 and are making a significant contribution to the future of PNG. This year, women, people living with a disability, and people living and working in the provinces are particularly encouraged to apply.”

“I would urge you all to reach out to young Papua New Guineans, especially those living with a disability, and support them to pursue an opportunity of a lifetime by applying for an Award,” Mr Hall said.

The Australia Awards program is an initiative of the Australian Government. The Australia Awards aim to contribute to PNG’s long term development needs by awarding scholarships in areas that align with PNG’s development partnership with Australia including health, education and law and justice.

Scholarships are highly competitive with selection based on academic ability, leadership, employment record, the developmental benefit of the proposed field of study, and overall preparedness to study in Australia. Each year the Australian Government offers around 150 Australia Award scholarships. At least fifty percent of these will be awarded to women.

Applications close on 16 February 2015. The Australia Awards team will conduct promotional roadshows across the country about the Awards. Visits will include provinces that have not been well represented in previous years including Manus, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, East Sepik, Enga, West New Britain, Gulf, and Oro. Further information about the Australia Awards can be found at: www.australiaawards.org.pg

The Australia Awards PNG Information Centre is equipped with institutional handbooks and internet access to help potential applicants research courses. Staff are available to provide assistance with applications and to assist alumni to look for employment where they can apply their newly obtained skills. The centre is located in Port Tower, Hunter St, Port Moresby, and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

And do not forget our current project for our young kids to get this opportunity  ; DONATE TODAY

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

Bougainville voice of Simon Pentanu”let not outsiders pit us against ourselves”

A Bougainville voice:

Simon Pentanu

AUSTRALIAN NGO Jubilee Australia published a report in September on views held by villagers near the mine on the re-opening of the Panguna mine in Bougainville.

SEE OUR REPORT and reports in Bougainville24

Jubilee, which claims to be a “scientific research body”, prepared the report jointly with two highly partisan organisations, the International State Crime Initiative and the Bismarck Ramu Group.

Kristian Lasslett, an Ulster-based Australian academic who is a constant purveyor of attacks on the Bougainville leadership, generally with little or no evidence, was heavily involved in the preparation and writing of the report.

In response to criticism of the report in the social media, Lasslett has defended himself and Jubilee notably in posts on the PNG Mine Watch blog (run by the Bismarck Ramu Group) and on Facebook’s Bougainville Forum.

Australians, Vicki Johns and Dantares Midway Jones (aka Andrew Jones) and Australian-based Bougainvillean, Clive Porabou, have all joined Lasslett in defending the report on the Bougainville Forum.

Jubilee and these others domiciled abroad will have us believe that they know more about Bougainville than anyone living on Bougainville and that they are privy to the personal views of the majority of Bougainvilleans today, including mine site landowners.

The spread of these dubious “research findings” in Australia can be likened to a new malady that is about to hit Canberra, the cure for which only the bearers of the ill tidings possess and can administer.

Jubilee is at the forefront and is in this for exposure and publicity, not for the benefit of Bougainville.

Every time these desktop researchers return to their own countries after a very brief foray into their own mystical Bougainville, they carry a hastily packaged fantasy that reveals the ‘undeniable truth’ about what the majority of Bougainvilleans think about Panguna.

Jubilee is in Australia. They believe that a brief visit by anti-mining Bougainville researchers to Panguna, armed with questions to which they already ‘know’ the answers, provides better credentials than they had as remote-controlled observers of Bougainville from afar.

After ticking off their questionnaires, the organisation can make a jubilant exit, highly satisfied that their “research” confirms what they always believed.

With a prejudice and orientation against anything and everybody engaged in, or supportive of, what they see as the sordid business of mining, organisations like this will always be predisposed to searching and commenting to satisfy and confirm their very own views, which they can then confidently sell to Canberra.

Kristian Lasslett works and schemes from Ulster in Northern Ireland (UK). On matters concerning Bougainville he is the self-made expert – chopping, pasting and moulding Bougainville like plasticine to be forced into his desired shape and form.

Like the operatives at Jubilee, he drives a metal car, flies in metal planes and eats, I assume, mainly with metal cutlery. He and the Jubilee operatives do not suffer from metal fatigue, despite their disdain for industries that extract useful minerals.

Kristian will swear by his comments and views, defend them and feed them to anyone who likes to lap up tales of deceit and conspiracy against Bougainville by mining giants and governments.

At best he is a socialist, born to save the world’s downtrodden. At worst he is a Trotskyite, peddling and romanticising his thoughts around Melanesia.

He is a smooth operator, armed with mind-boggling academic qualifications, but why should PNG and Bougainville take notice of him?

He does not add value to our attempts to resolve our issues on Bougainville island, or in PNG for that matter. His activities simply feed his own ambitions.

He tells us that he knows Bougainville from the 1960s, though his appearance indicates he was barely an adolescent at the time of the Bougainville crisis.

He arrived after the crisis, well after the peace process took hold, only to collect the crumbs when the smorgasbord was over. This is obvious in his comments about wanting to return to Bougainville’s past. Bougainvilleans be warned: this fellow cannot be trusted.

There’s little I can say about Vikki John. I believe she’s relatively harmless because I understand she rarely expresses her own views, assuming she has some. Apparently, her function is to cut, paste and disseminate any anti-mining material she comes across, in order to alert poor, ignorant Bougainvilleans to the dangers of doing further business with notoriously nasty mining companies.

I don’t know who DAntares Midway Jones (aka Andrew Jones) is, but I gather he has been searching for his ancestry/roots, as his interchanging name suggests.

He has suddenly splashed himself onto the Bougainville scene with grandiose ideas for the salvation of the island and its population. He believes he has a profound proposal to rid Bougainville of its muddled past.

He proposes a Peoples Tribunal with draft terms of reference comprising Bougainvilleans who will preside as judge, jury, prosecutor and terminator. He even has a Tribunal Facebook page.

He claims he has aboriginal ancestry. He dons a Fidel Castro type cap, is clad in khaki clothes with an Australian Aboriginal flag badge sewn on the breast and he sports a Fidel Castro beard. He is calm, cool and does not flinch at his critics.

I don’t know where he popped up from. He says he made a single visit to Bougainville, a lone trip that has convinced him that he knows Bougainville well enough to insert a Tribunal there to disable the culprits responsible for the island’s demise.

He has some strange ideas about what might be best for Bougainville. He impresses me as someone who has probably been wandering around admiring rock drawings in arid caves and sacred aboriginal sites and suddenly thinks he is sufficiently indigenous to transplant himself into another traditional society like Bougainville.

Clive Porabou is the next best thing to cheese, biscuits and shiraz. Just as these tasty and intoxicating items make party conversation flow freely, Clive’s presence and discussion with the likes of the people I have mentioned above make their adrenalin flow from both excitement and anger.

Clive lives abroad and, for those who have no personal experience on Bougainville, he is the Bougainville expatriate expert who satisfies the appetite of a certain mould of Australian academic, environmentalist, social psycho and welfare benefactor.

Always with an acoustic guitar in hand, he longs for the day when Bougainville might be governed by Me’ekamui, financed by Noah Musingku’s new Bougainville currency.

Hearing from Clive is enough to convince most non-Bougainvilleans that they have a duty to rescue Bougainville from bondage, and the government outfit to accomplish this is the version of Me’ekamui that Clive peddles abroad.

In truth, the Me’ekamui in central Bougainville have been consulting and beginning to work and cooperate with the Autonomous Bougainville Gobvernment (ABG), which was always bound to happen.

I can’t be too critical of Clive, because in his heart of hearts he will always remain a true Bougainvillean, but suspicious of his expat friends. It suits him fine if they are gullible enough to believe him, because as long as this unfortunate business lasts, he can continue to enjoy peace and a relatively convivial lifestyle offshore.

Take heart, the reason why most Bougainvilleans won’t whinge about, or flinch at, research that is carried out overnight from abroad is because it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

If you were to enter the same Bougainville communities in the same locations and conduct your own research to extract a ‘yes to mining’ response, you would get it. It really depends on how the comments and questions are framed. The Jubilee research is simply a means to an end.

Jubilee, Kristian, Andrew Jones and all of these parties will always support such research and support each other. They are birds of a feather, flocking, scheming and screeching together. As some Bougainvilleans have commented in the Bougainville Facebook forum, this is all “bullshit”.

The ABG must make the Australian government aware that Jubilee is going to the Australian Parliament entirely of its own accord, without the knowledge, authority or respect of the ABG and most Bougainvilleans.

If we are not careful and if the ABG turns a blind eye, the confusion, disunity and anger these people can generate could pit Bougainvillean against Bougainvillean, community against community, clans and families against each other, and even the people against their leaders and government.

These are people coming into a society they really don’t know much about or understand. They are attempting to ride roughshod over the programs and projects the ABG and landowners have been involved in towards resolving every issue in Panguna.

There has been steady progress towards addressing many outstanding Panguna grievances that affect everyone, not just the sampling of villages Jubilee has selectively interviewed.

There are senior ministers in the Abbott government, like foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop, who always have an ear and heart for Bougainville. There is no reason why the president and senior bureaucrats who have the carriage of different aspects and areas of discussion over Panguna, e.g. Steve Burain, Raymond Masono and advisers like Dr Naihuwo Ahai, cannot approach Canberra and confront the Jubilee research.

This is how absurd it is: Jubilee operatives come to Bougainville, do their fact finding visit up the road, fold up all the work and turn up in Canberra unbeknownst to ABG and most of Bougainville.

They do not even have the courtesy to call on the authorities on Bougainville to explain or share what they have done. If this is not conspiracy against ABG, for reasons only known to themselves, then I don’t know what it is.

There is a real risk that foreign elements that have no responsibility or obligations on Bougainville and that are not accountable to anyone can derail fifteen years of peace process and reconciliation achieved without meddling from uninvited offbeat academics, latter day NGOs, busybodies and socialites that have nothing better to do in their own countries.

If they have nothing to contribute to their own governments and people, it is hard to accept the claim that their reconnaissance on Bougainville will enhance our future.

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

 

Bougainville leads the way in PNG developing and using digital education technology

boookgainville

Founders of the book-gain-ville project Colin Cowell and former ABG President James Tanis were at the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) PNG Symposium to give a presentation on the Bougainville education revolution using Kindle e-readers known as ‘Bookgainville’, an initiative to improve literacy throughout Bougainville.

As reported in Port Moresby by EMTV

Bookgainville is the brainchild of Colin Cowell, from Canberra in Australia who once lived in Bougainville almost forty (40) years ago.
Cowell spent twenty-four (24) years working with and training Aboriginal communities across Australia.
He found his calling to help the people of the former crisis-torn island of Bougainville on a trip to deliver e-readers to students in a remote Panguna village.
Cowell started the Bookgainville project in Australia, with the guidance and support of the Indigenous Reading Project.
The project was launched at the Narinai Elementary school in Panguna district, the home of former ABG President James Tanis. It was then that the first 20 kindles were given, with feasting and celebration to signify the importance of the occasion.
The Bookgainville project is gaining momentum, with support technology and trained staff at the Arawa Women’s Training Centre. Cowell affirmed that sustainability is the key to the Bookgainville project.
A leadership group on ground, led by Mr James Tanis, is comprised of teachers and IT volunteers. The Kindles can contain up to 1400 books inside and cost $99 (Australian dollars).
The use of Kindles in third world countries has proven to be an outright success, using digital platforms and mobile connectivity to make books available to children and families who need them the most.
And with mobile use being prevalent in developing countries, such as PNG, World reader has also created a mobile app for android and featured phone devises. For the first time, folks have access to a library of books using a devise they own: their mobile phones.
In developing countries throughout the world, it has been seen that after 5 months in the e-reader Kindle program, children show significant improvements in fluency and comprehension.
The Bookgainville initiative has developed 11 libraries already in schools that never had libraries or books before, with each requiring 5 e-reader kindles with each kindle able to hold up to 1400 books.
The Bookgainville project received positive feedback at the PNG symposium and both Mr Cowell and Mr Tanis were greatly pleased by the outcome.
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Donations to support the project to purchase Kindles for schools in Bougainville can be made by contacting Collin Cowell on or +61401331251 or you can visit www.bookgainville.com for more information.
“Bougainville now leads the way in PNG developing and using digital education technology”
–       Colin Cowell
Photo Source: Colin Cowell

Bougainville Government news: Restructure of Ministers and departments heads to be advertised

President Momis

 

Bougainville will now advertise the senior positions within its public service as part of its restructure under the new Bougainville Public Service (Administration and Management) Act 2014.

All departmental head appointments will be made by the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee which consists of:

The President                                      Hon John Momis, GL, MHR

The Speaker                                        Hon Andrew Miriki

Church’s Representative                    Bishop Rev. Tim D Arthur

Women’s Representative                   Mrs Hona Holan

Bougainville Lawyer                          Mr Hubert Kikira

As for the purposes of appointing the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner the Bougainville Constitution requires that two National Government officers are added, these are Secretary of the Department for Personnel Management Mr John Kali and the PNG Electoral Commissioner Mr Andrew Trawen.

The Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee the Administration will shortly contract an executive recruitment firm to assist it and to make the departmental head appointments.

The firm will manage an open, transparent and merit-based recruitment process for the 14 departmental head positions, the two deputies in the Department of President and BEC and the urgent appointment of an Electoral Commissioner.

The timetable for the positions of Chief Secretary, Electoral Commissioner, Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services and Secretary of Treasury and Finance is:

  1. In the week of Monday 8 September the start of two weeks of advertising for all positions.
  2. Friday 26 September applications for these four positions will close.
  3. Friday 10 October the shortlist will be prepared in consultation with Mr John Kali.
  4. In the week of 20th October interviews will be conducted.
  5. In the week of 3 November, or earlier if the interviews and paperwork is completed, the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee will meet to consider independent panel’s recommendations and to make appointments.
  6. The timetable for the remaining departmental head positions is:
  1. Friday 12 September all positions descriptions for the remaining 11 departments and two Deputy Chief Secretary positions will be completed.
  2. The week of Monday 15 September the start of two weeks of advertising for all positions.
  3. Friday 3 October applications close.
  4. During October the recruitment firm will carry out referee and qualification checks and prepare the short lists for all positions.
  5. Interviews will take place in November and early December. All enquiries about the recruitment process will be directed to the contracted recruitment firm. This is important to ensure all applicants are treated fairly and evenly.
  6. From time to time the Administration will make announcements on the progress of the recruitment process.

The restructure of the Bougainville Public Service has also seen a minor reshuffle within the Autonomous Bougainville Cabinet to accommodate the changes.

The restructure sees the creation of new ministries while the Veterans Affairs, Peace, Media and Communication and Autonomy Ministries being absorbed by the new Department of the President and Bougainville Executive Council.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis explained that the former ministries absorbed by the Department of the President and Bougainville Executive Council have been given priority and his office will see their coordination.

The minor ABG Cabinet reshuffle sees no new Ministers added but each Minister now has only one portfolio to deal with and work with their related department.

 

John L Momis    Department of the President and Bougainville Executive Council

President

Patrick Nisira                                                 Department of Police and Corrections

Vice President

Rev. Joseph Nopei                                          Department of Justice and the Principal Legal Adviser

Minister for Justice

Albert Punghau                                               Department of Treasury and Finance

Minister for Treasury and Finance

Joel Banam                                                     Department of Administrative Services

Minister for Administrative Services

Michael Oni                                                    Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy

Luke Karaston                                                            Department of Technical Services

Minister for Technical Services

Rose Pihei                                                       Department of Health

Minister for Health

John Tabaniman                                             Department of Education

Minister for Education

David Sisito                                                    Department of Community Government

Minister for Community Government

Melchior Dare                                                            Department of Community Development

Minister for Community Development

Nicholas Daku                                                            Department of Primary Industries

Minister for Primary Industries

Wilfred Komba                                              Department of Commerce and Tourism

Minister for Commerce and Tourism

Newton Kauva            Department of Lands, Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation

Minister for Lands, Physical Planning,

Environment and Conservation

As the Ministerial Titles, Portfolios and Responsibilities goes into effect this makes each cabinet member responsible for National government liaison and coordination and consultation and liaison with any relevant Parliamentary Sectoral and Advisory Committee of the House of Representatives.

Re-structuring of all departments in order to meet Cabinet’s service delivery and economic growth priorities.

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has started implementing the Bougainville Public Service (Management and Administration) Act 2014 which will see the re-structuring of all departments in order to meet Cabinet’s service delivery and economic growth priorities.

ABG President Chief Dr. John Momis who signed the instruments to begin the process on the 3rd of this month said the next six months will be a time of major change as all senior leadership roles are advertised and permanent appointments are made.

“I am very pleased to announce that acting on the advice of the Bougainville Executive Council I have today signed the instruments establishing 14 ministries in the Momis/Nisira Government,” Dr Momis said.

Dr Momis said that it is a radical restructure that is intended to meet Bougainville’s current and future needs and that Cabinet agrees that things have to change within the Administration of Bougainville.

“Business as usual is no longer acceptable, each of the new ministries has a supporting department,” Dr Momis added.

Acting under the authority of the recently passed Bougainville Senior Appointments Act 2014 the BEC has also made a number of acting appointments to the departmental head positions.

These are appointments until substantive Secretaries are recruited, but for no longer than six months. The acting appointments, effective as of the 3rd of August 2014, are:

Mr Puara Kamariki                Secretary for Administrative Services

Ms Brenda Tohiana                Secretary for Treasury and Finance

Mr Kearnneth Nanei               Secretary for Justice

Dr Anthony Pumpara             Secretary for Health

Mr Michael Meten                 Secretary for Education

Mr Ephraim Eminoni             Secretary for Police and Corrections

Mr Steven Burain                   Secretary for Mineral Resources and Energy

Mr Bernard Tzilu                   Secretary for Technical Services

Mr Herbert Kimai                  Secretary for Community Government

Mr Peter Nomoreke                Secretary for Primary Industries

Mr Lesley Tseraha                 Secretary for Community Development

Mr Albert Kinani                    Secretary for Commerce and Tourism

Mr Andrew Dovaro                Secretary for Lands, Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation

With these changes the current divisions are abolished, all current Chief Executive Officers (or acting CEOs) who have not been appointed to an acting departmental head role will retain their substantive position attached to the relevant department.

For the purposes of appointing the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner the Constitution requires that two National Government officers are added, these are National Secretary of the Department for Personnel Management Mr John Kali and the PNG Electoral Commissioner Mr Andrew Trawen.

 

Bougainville Political News: Many questions on Bougainville’s unity -Momis

President Momis welcomed by Bougainvillean students

“The only intelligent and legitimate way of bringing about unity is to create a structure that empowers people and recognizes the important principal of subsidiarity and only then will we work together in solidarity,”

President Momis pictured above being greeted by Bougainville students

There are currently many questions on Bougainville’s unity but this unity cannot happen with the imposition of uniformity amongst the people.

Autonomous Bougainville Government President Chief Dr John Momis expressed this sentiment during a Seminar hosted by the University of Papua New Guinea Bougainville Students Association themed Gathering Intellectual Capacity toward our Journey to Referendum.

“The only intelligent and legitimate way of bringing about unity is to create a structure that empowers people and recognizes the important principal of subsidiarity and only then will we work together in solidarity,” President Momis said.

“Human solidarity will only come about when we recognize the differences between us and the importance of working together,” he added.

The President said the people of Bougainville have a vision and that is to reject corruption, they are rejecting manipulation, they are rejecting the syndrome of dependency and they are rejecting disempowerment and injustice.

“People are demanding the right to forge a new society based on natural justice and perennial principals that outlast any political or economic system,” he said.

President Momis also warned that people who are not imbued with such a vision are very dangerous, they maybe skilled but their skills will be abused and misused against the very society which they are called upon to build.

President Momis told the students that it is very important that education institutions must put a lot of emphasis on human formation.

“People must be formed on perennial values that outlast any of the pragmatic things that people are pushing in the world today,” he said.

“Bougainville as we discern the signs of the times, it is quite clear what the people want; they want to be intelligent active agents of change and mere passive reciepients of benefits,” the President said.

President Momis said this does not mean the people of Bougainville want to do things on their own but it means they want to take an active part in development and to be engaged in an intelligent and collaborative manner.

President Momis with Sam Akoitai

Amongst the key speakers at the seminar were several Bougainvillean leaders such as the Regional Member, Joe Lera and former Minister for Mining, Sam Akoitai as well as UPNG Vice Chancellor, Albert Mellam and several Bougainvillean students.

President Momis with UPNG students

Bougainville Cultural News: Mona Cultural Festival in Buka hailed as success : great images

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Story and photos by Aloysius Laukai ; additional photos Paul Wagam and Brian Semoso

The three-days Mona festival was hailed a success despite government funding allocation not released on time.

This was the message echoed by the Chairlady of the Festival Committee, FRANCESCA SEMOSO at the close of the festival yesterday afternoon.

Ms Semoso said that despite these hiccups the three-days festival was incident free and safe and was enjoyed by all who attended.

She said thanked the local sponsors who donated in cash and kind to make the festival a success.

Mrs Semoso said that show casing one’s culture was good as it identifies the uniqueness of different groups.

Meanwhile, one of the famous Bougainville actors and co-actor in the Tukana film with Francesca Semoso, MR. ALBERT TORO who was one for the festival  organizers, said that he was happy to see all the different people participate at the festival.

He said Bougainville had both the Melanesians and the Polynesians and it was good to see them participate as true Bougainvilleans.

The three-days festival was officially closed by the ABG Minister for culture, Mechior Dare.

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