National Catholic Education Commission
National Catholic Education Secretary, Fr. Lawrence Arockiaraj
Witnessing the love of God in the world through quality teaching and learning in all our schools.
To enhance the capacity and commitment of teachers and students at all levels of our agency.
The Catholic Educational Commission is one of the Commissions of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. We are currently housed under the National Catholic Bishops Conference main building. We currently have a team of three staff members including myself as Secretary and Mr. Victor Piniau as the National Deputy Secretary and Mrs. Kura Wavuri as our Admin Assistant.
The Education Commission staff are employed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. The Bishop Deputy for the Catholic Education Commission is Bishop Pedro Baquero SDB from the Diocese of Kerema and Bishop Paul Sundu from the Diocese of Kundiawa.
In terms of operational purposes, we report directly to the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. For policy matters, we report to the Bishop Deputies and the National Catholic Education Board.
The Catholic Education Commission manages over 3000 schools. Although it is almost notoriously difficult to establish completely accurate statistics, the table below gives us an indication of the total number of Catholic schools, teachers, and the number of students.
At the heart of Catholic education is the concern for the well-being of the human person. The Catholic Social Teachings state it beautifully in relation to the Dignity of Human Persons;
“A just society can become a reality only when it is based on the respect of the transcendent dignity of the human person. The person represents the ultimate end of society. The social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person… not the other way around.” — Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 132
The great pioneer of church and education in the Southern Region of Papua New Guinea, Archbishop Alain de Boismenu MSC, who was Bishop of Yule Island from 1900 – 1945, stressed that education should prepare children for the world of work as well as literacy, numeracy, and Catholic religious education.
Sadly, in the last few years, we have seen a decline in quality education in most of our Catholic Schools. Our standards have dropped terribly but we aim to work with all our Catholic schools around the country to improve on this. We are in a transition phase to structurally organize ourselves to deal with some of the obstacles that hinder our progress.
As a Commission for Christian Formation, we will work with teachers in our schools to teach our students to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with God. These values are important if we are to restore our schools and reclaim our identity. Our annual planned activities are focused on these values.