Kokoda College, an institution located in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea, has been educating students for years. In 2023, the Acronis Cyber Foundation Program along with its NGO partners Groundbreaker and Kokoda Track Foundation extended the college with a builidng with two classrooms and an office area. The classrooms are equipped with tablets, solar lighting, and a sustainable energy system, making learning more accessible and modern than ever before. But it’s not just about technology; a new ramp was added, making sure that all students, including those with disabilities, have easy access to education.
Kokoda College has a special mission. It focuses on delivering high school education through the Flexible Open Distance Education (FODE) program. This program gives a second chance at education to young adults who left school early. It also helps those who want to upgrade their qualifications to meet the Grade 12 standards, which is a requirement for tertiary education in teaching and healthcare.
Gender equity is a significant priority at Kokoda College. The college actively encourages women and girls to pursue education to become teachers and health workers, making a lasting impact on the community.
Before this project, Kokoda College had 175 students. Now, with its revamped facilities and modern amenities, the college can accommodate 250 eager learners, many of them coming from nearby villages. This jump in enrollment means more opportunities for the local youth, which is a big deal for a remote region like this.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the new double classroom infrastructure at Kokoda College in time for the 2023 academic year! This new space has allowed us to expand our enrollments and provide assistance to an even larger number of individuals. The Flexible Open and Distance Education (FODE) program holds great significance in Papua New Guinea. As the education system undergoes restructuring, tens of thousands of teachers must complete the FODE program to remain registered on the Government payroll. Furthermore, the increasing population demands a greater number of educators. Investing in Kokoda College equates to a direct investment in more teachers for rural Papua New Guinea,” said Martha Bentley, Head of Education at Kokoda college.
“I have enjoyed my studies here at Kokoda College and am thrilled to announce that I have successfully completed my program. I aspire to continue my education in the field of community health work, with the goal of becoming a Certified Health Worker, so I can contribute to the betterment of my community and country. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Kokoda Trust Foundation (KTF) for their unwavering support not only to me but to all the students at Kokoda College. The resources and assistance provided by KTF have been invaluable, and we deeply appreciate their commitment. We are also excited about the newly constructed classroom, which will allow Kokoda College to welcome more students like myself and have an even greater impact on the lives of Papua New Guineans. Thank you!” said Joyce Tebe, the college’s graduate.
The region around Kokoda College is remote, accessible only by air and foot. Like most of Papua New Guinea, this area lacks reliable electricity. Thanks to solar solutions, the college and the community can access power despite their remote location. Communication here is tricky and costly. Many residents previously had to travel to nearby villages for cellphone reception.
The college also creates work places for locals and provides jobs as security guards, cooks, cleaners, and grounds maintenance staff, boosting the local economy.
Acronis Cyber Foundation Program welcomes individuals, groups, and companies to partner with us to work side-by-side with underserved communities to bring them hope through education.
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