A trip up to the Wawin School of Excellence

Wawin National High or known formally as Wawin School of Excellence is one of six Schools of Excellence throughout the country where the top students from secondary schools go to. The other schools are Kerevat, Sogeri, Aiyura, Passam and finally Port Moresby. The best students in the secondary school system througout PNG get selected to join these six Schools of Excellence. The six schools are currently in the phase of introducing the STEM curriculum into their system. It is hoped that eventually, the schools of Excellence will remove the Outcome Based curriculum from their system

The flowers in the court yard are too good
The school looks immaculate this morning

Wawin School of Excellence, located just outside Lae city, is home to students from all over PNG who have completed grade 10 and now are doing grade 11 and 12. The students are boarding so they live at the school grounds and many do not see their families for the whole year. They stay there for two years to complete their school and after that, if successful, they enter a tertiary institution. I did live in a boarding school in high school and secondary school so I understand some of situations students go through at this level of school. Its hard to be away from families but a routine lifestyle at the school will keep you busy and interested.

I remember visiting the school sometime in 2006 but we only stopped at the gate. However, this time, I was able to visit the school and see its environment. The team from the University of Goroka were going to do an awareness session to the grade 12 students on the STAP-P. The STAP-P test is an entry test carried out by both University of Goroka and University of Technology in Lae. They wanted a video of their awareness done for their reporting purposes so I tagged along.

A small park in the school area
A metal plaque showcasing the school has been built by the people of China as a symbol of friendship to the people of PNG

One of the first things I noticed was the dressing of the students. I have visited many schools at the secondary level and have been to visit some of the universities in our country but I can say that the students at this school really stood out. Inside the classroom and along its corridors, the students dressed well, neat and appropriate. They were not in uniform but you could tell by their standard of dressing that they took care of the way they looked and presented themselves. It was, I believe, a reflection of the efficient management of the school too.

Such a long building with numerous classrooms upstairs and downstairs
School hallway

The second thing that I noticed was the vast area of the school. There were are few buildings but there was also a large area of spaces between different buildings of the school. There was grass, even though it had turned brown due to the lack of rainfall this dry season, stretching far from one set of buildings to another. I thought to myself that if they wanted to convert this school into a technical school or even a University, they could easily do that here as the space was huge.

Standing at the school and looking into the mountains of Erap/Nabak at the back of the school grounds
There school canteen next to the school gate

We just spent the day there. I went around taking photos and short video clips on the phone. I took some of the photos in the classrooms and then some of it in the school mess where the awareness was held. It was really good to see the students listen to the two universities (UOG and UNITECH) talk about the STAT-P test to the students. After the talk, we bought some fruits at the school gate and then drove back to Lae.

The video I did as requested by the UOG team who took me up Wawin School of Excellence

Lopoki Inc begins discussions with NARI

Lopoki Inc. had the privilege to meet and talk to scientists from the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) located at 10 mile outside Lae city last week.

The National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) is Papua New Guinea’s premier publicly funded statutory research organization that has been conducting applied and development oriented research on food crops, emerging food and cash crops, livestock and resource management issues. NARI was established by an Act of Parliament in July 1996 and this saw the organization become the peak body in Papua New Guinea, providing technical, analytical and diagnostic services and up-to-date information on the agricultural sector. They have regional coordination centres in Momase (Bubia and Labu), Highlands (Aiyura and Tambul), Islands (Kerevat) and Southern (Laloki) and their emphasis is on the country’s smallholder semi subsistence farmers.

I’m standing infront of the gate leading to one of their agricultural sites at 10 mile, Bubia, just outside Lae.

Lopoki Inc. visited their Momase Regional office just outside Lae city at Bubia, 10 mile. Lopoki visited NARI to gain information for a potential future collaboration between NARI and Lopoki Inc.’s work in Manus particularly around agriculture. This is because NARI’s focus areas are on key domains such as seed systems, feeding systems, bio-agro ecosystems, soil management, climate change, marketing systems, cross cutting issues and farm mechanization. These are really the key areas of agricultural work that Lopoki Inc. believes need to be effectively mainstreamed into its rural agriculture work in Manus thus the visit to NARI seeking a partnership. In particular, Lopoki Inc. met with personnel from NARI to briefly discuss the possibility of farmer training/mentoring in the Pomotu Ndrehet Kurti Andra (PNKA) local level government area in Manus. The discussion also touched on possible food crop varieties for cultivation in PNKA villages.

Some of the informational materials given by the NARI team
The Dr. Ghodake National Biotechnology Centre
Just about to entre the Dr. Ghodake Building before the brief meeting

While this first visit was for information and finding the possibility for collaboration, Lopoki Inc. was indeed grateful to NARI personnel that took valuable time out from their work to meet with us. Lopoki Inc. thanks the Information Communications Associate Mr. Samuel Toposona who facilitated the arrangement for the meet at Bubia. In our roundtable discussion were Livestock Principal Scientist Dr. Michael Dom, Crop Team Leader Jeffrey Waki and Research Associate-Plant Genetic Resources Cecily Walters.

We all pose after the meeting. From Left: Livestock Principal Scientist Dr. Michael Dom. Next to him is myself with my daughter who came along with me. Beside us is Crop Team Leader Jeffrey Waki and (far right) Research Associate-Plant Genetic Resources Cecily Walters.

We thank the NARI scientists for their time and look forward to a fruitful collaboration in 2022.

If you are interested in the work NARI does in Papua New Guinea, you can visit their website: https://www.nari.org.pg/