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Old 06-10-2003, 12:08 AM
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New UOG’s state-of the art Mark J Solon Auditorium opens by James Kila

MONDAY, September 29, 2003 was a significant day, a milestone in the history of the University of Goroka in Eastern Highlands province to have is magnificent and landmark auditorium building officially opened by the Agriculture Minister, Moses Maladina, on behalf of the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

The auditorium named after first vice chancellor as “Mark J Solon Auditorum” is a landmark building because, firstly, Goroka did not have a major building like that since it was declared a university in 1997.

Secondly, the building was built using the people’s money, and that is it was a PNG-Government funded project, a worthy investment that would harvest its returns through the output of teachers the auditorium is going to produce.

The new Mark J Solon Auditorium was built as a cost of K8-million.

Dr Solon and guests were also taken on a tour of the facility including the new library complex built as a cost of K14-million. The fund is also from PNG tax-payers.

“Such infrastructure investment in development is indictive of successive government’s priority on health as well as education. The Government of PNG should be proud of its ability to deliver such significant project even climate of hard economic times.

The auditorium is unique in its design and will serve the university in many years to come.

Dr Musawe Sinebare (right):
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:34 AM
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“Our achievement in this regard is in the area of education. Education in PNG is a success story. And many great things have happened in our country, but we have not been conditioned to focus on the not so good and forget the leaps and bounds we have made,” stated Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in his speech delivered by Agriculture Minister, Maladina.

“We can compare ourselves to the rest of the world and be discouraged or we can compare ourselves in terms of our own history and be encouraged to do more,” the prime minister stated.’

“It is a simple truth, there have been more people educated in the last 30 years then ever before in PNG’s colonial history. When I led the country to nationhood there was one newly established university (UPNG) and very few university graduates around,” the PM stated.

“Today we have six universities, many colleges and other tertiary institutions for our five million people and we have many well qualified men and women who serve the country in many different ways both in private and public sector,” the PM stated.

Dr Mark J Solon Auditorium has the main space for lectures, conferences, forums, graduations and theatre productions and can hold up to 500 people. It also has small rooms – two board rooms at the back and four tutorial rooms up the front.

These space provide a bit of relieve for the university that is currently experiencing space constraints as students numbers increase each year.

The facility has the state of the art modern technology that is very handy and efficient for any organization that wants to hold conferences and seminars, provided that they are going to be held when the university is not using it.


New UOG Library Complex:
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:35 AM
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“Of course we will publicise this facility to the general public in due course,” said pro vice chancellor Joe Kata.

The occasion was attended by Eastern Highlands MPs namely, Governor Malcolm Smith Kela, Henganofi MP, Dr Banhare Bun, Unggai Bena MP,

People who deserve mentioned in this unique project included Dr Mark Solon, the then VC for his wisdom and determination to have a building as this building constructed.

Additionally, Munare Ron Uyassi, now Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator, then the UOG’s director planning who took the concept up with the technical people and Brendon Tapemo who provided technical advise.

The construction phase had its own difficulties that more people got involved and who deserved to be mentioned.

Firstly, Dr Musawe Sinebare in his term as Acting vice chancellor in the 16-plus months beonre the new VC was appointed took the lead with the project. He had to make critical decisions and copped the criticisms. Mr Eric Kombeakali, the UOG;s acting director since Mr Uyassi left, took on the project. He went between the university management and the project managers and contractors at times to keep the project on track and on target. Any problems and disagreements, he was the one to take it from either side.

“We have a proud history of being a strong teacher education institution in this country. Our graduates are living testimony who continue to serve this country in difficult conditions because they are highly motivated and committed to the profession,” Dr Sinebare stated.

Ends…../

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