PRIME Minister Peter O'Neill today (Friday 13 October) officially launched the construction of work for the new Butuku School project in front of Chinese and PNG government officials, parents, teachers and children of Butuku Primary School.
Mr O'Neill thanked the Shenzhen Municipal Government for the “model project” and urged the community of Sabama, where the school is located, to take ownership of the school and take good care of it.
The Prime Minister said the focus on education in the bilateral relations with China had come about as a result of his state visit to China in 2017 during which he highlighted this to the Shenzhen Municipal Government on his stop-over at that city.
He also acknowledged the Chinese government for various other projects that are currently ongoing throughout the country under the revitalised bilateral relations between the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing highlighted the importance of education to society.
"Confucius said ‘when providing education, there should be no social distinctions’. And now free education for all is one of the priority policies of the current PNG government led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. So therefore the construction of the Butuka School is indeed very meaningful and significant for implementing such important policies,” said Ambassador Xue.
Ambassador Xue re-emphasised the workmanship of China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd and said he was very confident of the product the developer would give to Port Moresby.
“This company is the largest structural steel industry in China and has successfully constructed over 200 steel structure projects in over 30 cities in China and throughout the world. I believe the company will build the Butuka School with high standards and strict technical requirements making it another monument of friendship between China and PNG,” reassured the Ambassador.
Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko added that he was very happy for the project and extended his gratitude to NCD Governor Powes Parkop for allowing Butuka to be the site of the aid from the Shenzhen municipal government.
The First Hoisting Ceremony marks the start of the construction of buildings. Foundation work began in August and the full work is expected to be completed in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in 2018.
The project is costing the Shenzhen Municipal Government K70 million and is a gift from Shenzhen to Port Moresby under the sister-city auspices.
The new school will include a 1-storey elementary school consisting of 10 classrooms, 2-storey primary school comprising 26 classrooms, 2-storey secondary school consisting of 16 classrooms and six technical rooms (containing computer rooms and science labs), a modern multi-function hall, a standard rugby field, two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, a cafeteria, and 12 apartments for the teachers. Altogether, the new school will take up to 2700 students with high-end facilities and equipment.