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NEB Elects Church Official ‘Deputy Chairman’

-          Nigel Akuani


Port Moresby: Secretary of the National Catholic Education Commission, Mr Michael Ova, was recently elected unanimously as the new Deputy Chairman of the National Education Board.


The appointment was made during the National Education Board Swearing-in Meeting

on 28th May, at the Loloata Island Resort outside of Port Moresby. The occasion had 32 people present, that included full-members of NEB, fifteen alternate members, and their assistants.


Mr Ova said his new appointment was a key achievement essential to effectively improving policies and procedures for the education system of schools throughout the nation. “This is a position that can really create impact and with the skills and knowledge of the education system on a provincial and national said.

level, change for schools, its students and staff can be better implemented,” he

Highlighting the important function churches played in society, he said the appointment was a clear sign of recognition of the churches’ efforts. “It has boosted the churches’ profile to that point where they can actually influence and cause positive tangible results beneficial for everyone,” he said.


He admitted that with the job came new and challenging responsibilities that would require his presence in all future NEB meetings. “I will share in the responsibilities of the NEB Chairman to assist in conducting meetings and to work towards building a close partnership with the 15-members of the NEB and their alternates.,” he stated.


Fr Paul Jennings, Chaplain of St Joseph’s Parish Boroko, congratulated Mr Ova on the achievement and said it was the first time in the country’s history for an official of the Church to be appointed to such senior position. “It is his personal milestone in life and also a landmark for the Churches of PNG,” he said.


Mr Ugwalubu Mowana,General Secretary of PNG Teachers Association, supported the nomination of Mr Ova and described him as being both experienced and qualified in the provincial level of education to take on the role.


Mr Ova previously served as Deputy-Chairman of NEB, during his time as Principal Education Advisor of Milne Bay Province between 2007 and 2016. He is currently the Secretary for NCEC, one of the various Commissions under the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI, and also the Chairman of the National Churches Education Council.

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