Largest primary school has record graduation

Christine Lagani receives her agency certificate from APEC ambassador Ivan Pomaleu.

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The Carr Memorial Adventist Primary School in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG), had big reasons to celebrate as parents, teachers, church administrators and the community witnessed its highest ever number of students (195) passing out at its 22nd Grade 8 graduation on December 1.

With the theme “Striving to be the best for Christ”, the graduating class were fittingly adored with new school gowns. APEC ambassador Ivan Pomaleu, an elder at the local Waigani church and the younger brother of former PNG Union Mission president, the late Pastor Geoffrey Pomaleu, delivered the keynote address.

It was a fitting occasion for students to be encouraged to be ambassadors for God by living lives of integrity, not only in their next years of studies but for life. Pomaleu’s younger daughter Luna was among the graduating class.

Grade 8 graduands at the ceremony.

Named after pioneer Australian missionary Septimus Carr, who with wife Edith arrived on Papua New Guinea shores in 1908, Carr Memorial has a total enrolment of 1192 students—the largest Seventh-day Adventist primary school in terms of enrolment in the South Pacific Division (SPD). Due to that and an increase in turnout over the years, the graduation has since been held at the nearby government-run Port Moresby National High School.

In 2016, the SPD’s accreditation rated Carr Memorial as a Level 7 school. The school administration is working hard towards Level 8 ratings to cater for the increased enrolment, which will make it the highest in the country. Despite the challenges throughout the year, under the leadership of Principal Nida Bland, Deputy Laka Batu and the commitment of the 30 teachers and ancillary staff and the school board, the school has continued to grow as evidenced in the quality of its graduating students.

Professional development of staff remains a key focus for the administration through in-service with supervisory and curriculum framework reviews. The main activities apart from teaching and learning are the spiritual revival weeks held every term, routine staff and students worship, and the community health awareness programs in the community.

As the incessant demand for quality Christian education in Port Moresby increases, Carr Memorial is earmarked to be the one “striving to be the best for Christ” in the community, as the model church-run primary school. The school aims for bigger and better things through God’s grace in 2018.

Carr Memorial graduating class perform their graduation song.
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