In response to allegations of poor government services in the Abau District, particularly at Gavuone Primary School in Aroma, Central Province in the print media, the Commission initiated an investigation looking into the matter. The allegations stemmed from a National Newspaper article dated 16 November 2022, titled “Villages putting strains on school facilities.” The primary purpose of this investigation was to inspect the school facilities and present the findings to address the deteriorating state of Gavuone Primary School.
The information gathered from an inspection confirmed the deteriorating state of Gavuone Primary School and Gavoune Elementary School since their establishment in 1960 and 1997, respectively.
In the inspection of Gavuone Primary School, several critical issues were identified:
The school’s facilities, established in 1960, were in a deteriorating and run-down state. Teacher’s houses were in poor condition, making them unsuitable for habitation. A Grade 4 classroom, condemned in a 2016 report, continued to be used. School facilities, including classrooms, toilets, and sporting facilities, were shared with the local community. Seasonal water problems occurred from August to October, leading to reliance on rainwater and alternative sources. Electricity was lacking, and the school depended on a generator and solar power. The road from Port Moresby to Kupiano Station and the school was in poor condition, needing immediate maintenance.
The Commission’s findings in this inspection included:
- Lack of government funding for school facilities through DSIP and PSIP.
- Unfulfilled commitments by Abau DDA for projects like desk and chair procurement.
- Negligence in delivering government services to rural communities, as mandated by Section 218 (a).
- Challenges with Tuition Fee Funding (TFF) disbursement, including missing funding in 2022. Receipt of TFF funding for the first quarter of 2023.
In line with these findings, the Member for Abau District Dr. Puka Temu was invited to meet with the Commission to discuss Gavoune Primary School’s deteriorating infrastructure. Dr Puka Temu has responded to all the issues that were raised by the Commission and acknowledged the work of the Commission.