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  • - Rosemary Yambune

PNGCC officially launches Constitution and Policy Manual

Port Moresby: The National PNG Churches Council (PNGCC) officially launched its Constitution and Policy Manual to provide a framework to the Secretariat of the National Church’s Education Council who will voice matters from church agency schools to the Government.

The launching was held on Tuesday, November 17th at Laguna Hotel, Port Moresby and has as special guests Dr Uke Kombra, Secretary for National Department of Education,Bp Peter Baquero, Bishop of Kerema representing Cardinal Sir John Ribat and Mr Geoff King, representative from the Australian High Commission.

In his keynote address, Dr Uke Kombra commended the approach that the National Church’s Council had taken in drawing the Constitution and Policy manual for their operations. Mr Kombra briefed those present about the new reforms of the education systems before he called for cooperation among the mainline churches to compliment these new changes by working closely with the government.

“The churches have proven beyond doubt to deliver education right into the remote parts of Papua New Guinea where the government cannot reach. I request that we must all work together and if there are critics about our education system, we now have the chance to improve,” said Dr Kombra to those present.

Bp. Baquero thanked the government for recognising the efforts of the churches and said the launching shows a strengthening and deepening of the partnership between the church and the government. “As churches we partner not because providing education is a service, but because it is a mission mandated to us by God,” Bp Peter said.

The representative of the Australian High Commission congratulated the PNGCC and highlighted the unique relationship that PNG and Australia have. “This is a fundamental document for structuring the role of a council particularly on how and what it’s going to do in improving education services in PNG especially to the six thousand schools that are church affiliated and run,” Mr King stated.

The constitution manual was drafted by Fr Paul Jennings, Policy and Legal advisor for PNGNCEC while the Policy manual was compiled by the members of Council. The Constitution contains the functions of the Churches Education Council, brief records of its establishment, membership, meeting periods, financial costs and validation of the constitution while the Policy manual contained policies that will guard the operations of the Church’s Council following an action plan.

“It is paramount that we establish a secretariat to serve the teachers and children especially the isolated schools in remote places that are run by our churches under the over watching umbrella of Churches Education Council,” said Michael Ova, Chairman of PNGCC.

The PNGCC is made up of nine mainline churches of Papua New Guinea which includes the Catholic Church, Evangelical Brotherhood Church, Baptist Union PNG, Gutnius Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Evangelical Alliance, Seventh Day Adventist, Anglican and the United Church with the main function to provide an opportunity for discussion and consultation among the recognized Church Education Agencies.

Other invited guests included Program Manager CPP DCPP Abt Associates, Ms Maryanne Kehalie, a representative from JICA, Ms Fiona Silo, Legal Officer for National Department of Education, Mr Dominic Maelin, secretaries from the nine mainline churches in PNG and selected students from Sacred Heart Primary School and St Francis Anglican Primary School.

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