In opening the new facilities, Australian High Commission Counsellor Sarah De Zoeten said: “The Australian Government is pleased to work closely with the Government of Papua New Guinea and Manus Provincial Government to help ensure better educational outcomes in Manus.
“The new classrooms, housing and water and toilet facilities will make attending Lundret Primary School more attractive for students as well as provide the basic working conditions necessary for teachers to perform to the best of their ability.
“A good education is much more likely to happen in schools that have the facilities that encourage young boys and girls to attend and learn and gain the knowledge they can use later in life. These facilities include good classrooms, clean water, and clean ablution areas.
“I am sure the 100 students and several teachers at Lundret Primary School are already feeling the benefits from these recent improvements. I am confident they will take full advantage of the new facilities to improve their education and contribute to their country’s progress by achieving full and rewarding lives in the future.”
Ms De Zoeten also noted that it was pleasing to see almost half the more than 100 students at Lundret Primary were girls, saying a good schooling is essential if girls and young women are to gain the knowledge and skills they need later in life to secure gainful employment, to start their own businesses, and to take up leadership positions in the private and public sectors and the community.
Australia has provided primary school infrastructure at 20 sites across Manus, also at Bipi, M’buke, Baso, N’dilou, N’yada, Harangan, Lau, Pateku, Metyih, Mouklen, N’drehet, Likum, Metepong, Nohang, Waratalai, Andra, Lomoei, Aua and Wuvulu.
Australia’s support to Manus also includes an initiative which provides water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, support and outreach activities to the 20 primary schools across Manus. This includes modern urine diversion toilets and water and sanitation awareness and training including for HIV and AIDS prevention.
The infrastructure support at Lundret Primary School is valued at AUD$382,000 and is funded through the Australian aid program as part of the additional assistance package to Manus.