Simberi FODE sets up Satellite Centres

Mapua Primary School (MPS) now operates as a Flexible Open and Distance Education (FODE) satellite centre for the Simberi Gold Company Limited’s (SGCL) FODE program.

As a satellite centre, MPS is providing easy access to Mapua and Tatau students to attend classes at the school rather than travelling to Simberi which is located at least 30 minutes away by boat.

Mapua - located on the eastern coastline of Tatau is home to a Catholic mission station that runs a primary school and health centre. 

The arrangement for MPS to become a FODE satellite centre was recently made between SGCL and MPS. Twenty-eight students from Mapua and Tatau have registered to begin their FODE journey. They include six students each in grades 9 and 12, five in grade 11 and 11 in grade 10.

SGCL FODE Coordinator Patrick Nesen who is also one of SGCL’s FODE teachers is pleased with the partnership.

“This arrangement is good for the students. Instead of having the big group of students travel by boat daily from Tatau to Simberi to attend classes, they will now travel a shorter distance to Mapua,” said Patrick.

He thanked the MPS administration for allowing the FODE program to run at the school and appealed to the students to make the most of the opportunity and called on students to take their studies seriously.

“You have the potential to improve your marks and make it into government tertiary institutions after completing the year 12 FODE program,” encouraged Patrick.

SGCL offers the FODE program free to Tabar locals as part of St Barbara’s commitment to building stronger communities. Each student must only pay the registration fee of K50.

The Simberi FODE program was established in 2013, a year after St Barbara took over the mine from Allied Gold in 2012. 

This year, in its 10th year of operation, SGCL FODE has enrolled over 1000 locals including SGCL employees.

In 2022, SGCL recorded its first successful enrolment of two grade 12 FODE students (a male and female) into Divine Word University for the Bachelor of Primary Education program.

 They both scored a grade point average (GPA) of over 3-points to earn the national government’s higher education scholarship (HECAS).

Picture: SGCL FODE Coordinator Patrick Nesen with his students

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