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
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.
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.
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.
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.