By Ishmael Palipal
Speaking at one of his awareness rounds in Hahela, Buka town, Hon. Joe Lera MP, revealed his plans on building an educational institution for Bougainvilleans. He believes that if we have more highly educated people, it will boost the revenue creation of the region and increase Bougainville’s output.
The Governor and Member for Regional Bougainville revealed his plans to build more institutions to help Bougainvilleans to increase the human capacity to move Bougainville forward.
He stated that only about 20% of the Bougainville population is generating taxable revenue, meaning they are working and paying tax to the government which can then be used to improve the region.
Therefore, to increase that, we should create ways to build skills and knowledge of the other 80% through building proper educational institutions and at the same time creating more job opportunities for those who are coming out of these institutions.
Mr Lera has been funding students to higher institutions throughout PNG, utilising a K15 million government grant and has also led the way in setting up institutions such as the Polytechnic Institution, which is currently in the process of being built at Hutjena area in Buka town.
He believes that only if we develop the people, then we will see true changes happening in our communities. He stated that we have to focus our approaches of development into changing our people from bottom up; meaning our development must be those that benefits people and keeps them benefiting sustainably.
And he supported that by saying that education is one of this ways that we should be more focusing on because if we give them a project for a community, those educated elites are the ones that will sustain and maintain the project further.