May 26, 2020
Minister for Communication and Information Technology and Member for South Bougainville Hon. Timothy Masiu, took time off his official program and visited Lemakot School of Nursing in Kavieng, New Ireland Province , where he encouraged students, as front line nurses or health workers, to educate and inform the community about the coronavirus disease or covid-19.
“I want to encourage you all in this time of covid 19 that you are very important people, you are front liners as nurses or community health workers and are most important people.
“I’m happy to see you all present here to spend time with me and I’m also happy to have this time with you all.
“The world is facing a crisis now on Covid 19 and we have a big responsibility to inform, educate and bring awareness to our people about what is happening in and around the world,” he told the students.
As Minister responsible for Information Communication and Technology in the country, Mr Masiu says he has bigger responsibilities in this area to disseminate information and information that are factual, to the people.
Minister Masiu was amazed to see not only the Bougainvilleans but students from all over the country present to welcome him.
The welcome ceremony was small but significant as students were overwhelmed to have a state Minister visit their school for the first time this year..
“A lot of time I drove up the highway but never had the chance to come in for a visit though I have some family members who are from this village, ” said the Minister.
“It is such a privilege to visit my students from Bougainville whether you are from North Bougainville or Central Bougainville. Some may have already graduated who have been under the South Bougainville Education scholarship.
“I’m happy and I thank Lemakot school of Nursing and the Catholic church to continue training our young people. When I visited Enga, I was happy to see two graduating nurses in Wabag who happen to be from South Bougainville.
“I will continue to support students who want to study outside of Bougainville,” he said .
Mr Masiu further encouraged Bougainville students to focus and work hard in school, in order to return home and replace the aging nurses and teachers to give service back to Bougainville.
Minister Masiu recently visited students and teachers at Enga College of Nursing and the Enga Teachers College, the Holy Trinity in Mt Hagen, University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), Pacific Adventist University (PAU), University of Technology (Unitech) in Morobe,, Polytech Morobe,, Divine Word University (DWU) Madang, Madang Technical College, Madang Maritime, Lutheran school of nursing in Madang and Madang Teachers College.
His trip to New Ireland was from 21 – 23 May 2020
Minister Masiu updated the students about what was happening and what has been done and the reason why the country had to go through a lock down period and the State of Emergency, and that was to protect the people.
“The virus is already in the country and we have to be very careful and mindful of the fact that it could happen anytime, Minister Masiu warned the students.
He said mass concentration is on our borders and I want to thank everyone for all your prayers.
Continue to pray for the country and pray for our leaders so that decisions can be done wisely.
He informed the Bougainville students that there are no cases in Bougainville and he was happy that on Friday the 22nd of May was the first flight to Buka.
Minister Masiu informed the students that K1.5 million under his District Development Authority has been given to support the work of the response team in South Bougainville to build an isolation centre and to carry out awareness. He said South Bougainville has to be ready.
He also made aware to the students that the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has allocated some funds to take care of students outside of Bougainville just in case the crisis goes worse and students need to be sent back home.
Minister Masiu challenged ABG to create a pathway for the ones graduating as we need this workforce of young teachers and nurses including health workers because we had lost so many during the crisis and this big gap has to be filled up.
“ My children of Bougainville who are here must work hard. This is the reason why I am here. You children are the future of Bougainville. While you are here, you are learning new things and a new lifestyle. Learn while you are in school and build relationships with the students and people here in New Ireland Province”.