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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 4) - The Telefomin district of Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea, now has an additional high school located in the remote Oksapmin district.

[PIR editor’s note: Sandaun Province, also referred to as West Sepik, borders the Indonesian province of Papua.]

Oksapmin High School now brings to eight the total number of high schools including secondary schools in Sandaun.

Member for Telefomin Atumeng Buhupe said for the last 25 years, Telefomin had only one high school and many students had missed out on furthering their education.

"Human resource development is a key priority, and so it is paramount in our development aspirations and strategies for Telefomin district," he said.

Mr. Buhupe said that five years ago, the people of Telefomin elected him to Parliament to initiate key projects, which would leave positive legacies for the future.

"The establishment of the new Oksapmin High School fulfils the development aspiration of my people," he added.

Chairman of the school board Colin Tandamat described the approval of the Oksapmin High School as a milestone for the people of Telefomin and Sandaun Province as a whole.

Grade 9 classes will start this year with a total of 105 students. These students are required to pay a fee of PGK950 [US$338] each.

The National Government has approved PGK24 million through tax credit scheme for the construction of the school this year.

Classes will start under semi permanent facilities.

Buhupe also provided PGK150,000 [US$53,504] towards the school while churches in Australia and New Zealand donated PGK80,000 [US$28,535] towards the establishment costs of the high school.

Apart from the new high school, a couple of airstrips in the area will also be upgraded to take in larger aircrafts transporting construction materials.

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