The Oksapim Secondary School, in the Telefomin District, Sandaun Province, officially opened its new facilities on 8th February 2023.
Built under the National Government’s Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (ICTS) worth K38.4 million and implemented by Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) and its business partners, the school will begin using the facilities this academic year.
The opening ceremony was attended by Minister for Works and Highways and Member for Telefomin, Hon. Solan Mirisim, Minister for Education and Member for Usino Bundi, Hon. Jimmy Uguro, Minister for Finance and Planning and Member for Finschafen, Hon. Rainbo Paita, Chairman of Public Works and Kokopo MP, Ereman Tobaining Junior, Deputy Secretary Department of National Planning and Monitoring, Roger Kara, and Executive Management representatives from Ok Tedi Mining, and the Ok Tedi Development Foundation.
Located in Tekin Valley, about 76 kilometres from Teleformin district, the Oksapmin Secondary School infrastructure project was approved in 2010 at a project cost of K26 million, with implementation beginning in 2012.
However, due to several issues such as landowner disputes, logistical challenges, weather, landslips, the 2015 El Nino-induced drought which impacted OTML operations, and COVID-19, the completion of the project was prolonged.
Despite these setbacks, OTML and its business partners completed the project which saw the construction of seven staff houses, two double classrooms, three dormitories, three ablution blocks, a mess, administration building, library and science laboratory.
OTML Acting General Manager Community and Operation Support, Mr. Jesse Pile, said the new school facilities will continue to provide opportunities for more young men and women to be educated.
“Ok Tedi will continue to work with the National, Provincial, District, and Local Level governments, and other stakeholders to deliver such projects that will change the lives of people” he said.
Minister for Finance and Planning and Member for Finschafen, Hon. Rainbo Paita, committed K1 million towards the funding of new computers for students to use.
Works and Highways Minister and Member for Telefomin, Hon. Solan Mirisim, committed K3 million to the secondary school and K1 million each to Oksapmin High School and Bak High School.
He also announced that Telikom PNG will be installing a new communications tower in Tekin Valley. This will support the implementation of ICT infrastructure at the school by PNG DataCo.
OTML thanked the various business partners involved in the project which included Tabubil Engineering, Milum Investment, Lotic Bige Ltd, Hausman Builders, KERACS, Heli Niugini, Hevilift and Ok Tedi Development Foundation.