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St Anne’s Skill Training Institute, Sideia, Alotau

By Sr. Cristina Villasanta, FMA

Sideia, Alotau, PNG, 10 Octobre 2018 -- Amidst the variety of institutions at Sideia, is the vibrant St Anne’s Skill Training Institute, (SASTI) for girls. As you walk along, you are warmly welcomed and greeted affectionately by the very disciplined, dedicated and joyfully staff and students of the Institute.

The training Institute is in its 48th year and is currently run by the Salesian sisters. Sr. Cristina Villasanta, FMA, Manageress of the Institution said that they are looking at possibilities to raise the standard of the vocational training at the centre. “The School Learning Improvement Plan (SLIP) is to improve the buildings. Every year we are targeting one building, as the structures are old and have been here since 1969”, she said.

The institute receives school fees from the government to run its academic program. The Provincial of the sisters supports the work of the institute financially, through staff qualification as well as through other means. This has given a few instructors the possibility of doing upgrading courses. The institute also runs a ‘coffee shop’ that is income generating.

A new curriculum has been introduced this year. It is the National Certification 1 (NC1). It has the following courses: Office Administration, Computing, Tourism and Hospitality, Dressmaking and Tailoring for first year students. Other relevant courses are planned for the years ahead.

The work is not easy and all supplies for the centre need to be purchased and carried across the ocean. “The work is difficult, but very fulfilling and very rewarding”, said Sr Guadalupe Ruiz, FMA, superior of the community. The sisters manage the institution from finance to formation. The teachers collaborate with the sisters and contribute so much to the school.

“Aside from our teachers’ cooperation, a big group in our school is part of the representative council. They are parents and leaders in the community. They receive formation every month”, she said.

The Student Representative Council (SRC) is formed of student leaders from the 2nd year students. Care is taken to see that the leaders are chosen well and represent the different groups. Together with the staff, they ensure that all the rules of the school are well respected and followed. They are the ones who initiate and guide the 1st year students, into what is expected in the dormitories and in the classrooms. In the absence of the sisters the school runs extremely well with the help of the lay staff and the student leaders.

The other sisters have a close contact with the girls at the institute, but more especially in the boarding. “It is wonderful to spend time with them, listen to what they have gone through in their lives and open up avenues for them”, says Sr Jolanta Kosinska, FMA, Religious Education teacher. Sr Eleanor Samson, FMA, OA (NCI) Teacher and Sr Jolanta enjoy interacting closely with the students and spending time with them.

Every week, a virtue is practiced and every term there is a theme.

  • Term 1: I am the source of unity in my family
  • Term 2: I am the builder of my community
  • Term 3: I am contributing in the nation building.

“We are creating a mantra in the minds of the students. They realize that they need to be honest and hardworking and live out the values that they are taught not only in their years in school, but carry it with them to their homes, villages and communities”, said Sr Cristina.

Value education is part of the program and all the students, Catholics and non-Catholics take active part in the recollections, retreats, good morning and good night talks.

“We believe that the education that we are providing will enable them bring up good and happy families”, concluded Sr Cristina.










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