The University of Goroka is proud to be part of the growing movement worldwide by institutions of higher learning to provide for and to reach out to the unreached population of people who wish to get education and training. The Council and Management of the University, under the theme of “Gown to Town” are pleased to support the pioneering work to reach out to our large number of population in all works of life spread out in most remote parts (both in the rural and urban settings) of our diverse nation. This week for the first time ever, the University of Goroka is hosting, through the Institute of Distance and Flexible Learning (IDFL) Directors’ and Coordinators’ Retreat here in Goroka; which is running from January 29th to February 2nd 2018.
Since 2010 when the idea of the DFL transited from just being a mere academic idea to practical reality; and as a result there are three regional campuses and six study centres. Of the three campuses, there is an Eastern Pacific Campus in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. The DFL operational headquarters is located at the Humilaveka Plateau.
Our gathering here, this morning to help the committed staff of UOG, with Mr Teng Waninga, the Pro Vice Chancellor responsible for the overall Development, Consolidation and expansion of DFL, the Director of the Institute of Distance and Flexible Learning, Mr Kensol Rui, and the Directors of the Regional Campuses (Mr Hugo Kop- Highlands Regional Campus at Mt Hagen, Mr Mark Gundu- NCD/Southern Regional Campus in Port Moresby, Mr Richard Pilapitu, Eastern Pacific Campus at Honiara, Solomon Islands). We also acknowledge and appreciate the presence of the DFL Centre Coordinators (Mr Michael Kapari- Maprik, East Sepik, Ms Helen Javienga, Lae, Morobe, Ms Cecilia Gangai, Popondetta, Oro, Mr Robert Sine, Kundiawa, Simbu, Mr Simon Paraun, Mendi, Southern Highlands).
The Council and the Top Management Team led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Musawe Sinebare have committed to reach out to the people through our DFL programmes to the unreached population in our communities. We have some ideas about thee DFL for now and into the future. This evening, together with all of our partners, including the TMT Members, Deans, the Regional Campus Directors and Centre Coordinators are going to meet and explore ways forward for DFL in PNG and the Pacific region. We want to address the phases of now and future growth in terms of phases.
Together, we will explore scope for expansion and outreach, programmes and courses, staffing, infrastructure, funding and enhancing sustainable collaboration. The University Academic Senate has approved some important courses that the retreat has been informed and will take on board and offered in our campuses and study centres. This retreat is important, because we now have the benefit of sharing experiences and chart the new course or way forward for the future.
Our message to the National Government and the provincial governments is that we support the initiatives being presented by the various authorities. But do not build new institutions; expand what we have as has been stated by the Prime Minister in recent conversations with the heads of state universities. In Goroka, we support this intention, let us all work together to expand by way of infrastructure funding, staff training, retention and remuneration packages, with the view to attracting senior, qualified academics and research staff, and improve on governance and accountability in our institutions.
We want to also say this that UOG is prepared to take itself to the provinces, districts and to meet with others in the communities that are offering educational opportunities to our people; most are young and wanted to help themselves in education and training.
Approved for Release.