Founder and Executive Director of the permitted –approved school, Kopkop College Ms. Maria Kopkop was recognised for her work in providing opportunities for more women to be educated in the country, when her school KopKop College joined in the National Women’s Day celebrations on Friday, 24th March, 2023 under the theme; Educate a Woman, Educate a Nation.
Ms. Kopkop started her a little kindergarten school back in 1989 called Bambi International school and has since expanded the kindergarten school into a primary school and recently upgraded the school to secondary level of education with campuses located both in Port Moresby and in the New Ireland Province.
KopKop’s Director of Support Services Ms. Mary Udu acknowledges Ms Maria Kopkop’s contribution to education and thanked her for her passion and continues support towards education and health for women in the country.
Ms KopKop, simply known as Bubu Maria by all the students and staff, worked as a trained and registered nurse in infant welfare and midwifery in the rural parts of New Ireland and West Sepik province before starting up Bambi International , now Kopkop College.
“Bubu Maria taught us that women are a stronghold of a family, a community, a country and bearers of human kind,” said Ms Udu.
Ms Udu further highlighted achievements of Ms Kopkop’s life stating that Ms Kopkop expanded her skills by taking up a Masters in Women’s Studies at the James Cook Universaity in Townsville and then followed by Education Leadership Program with the Divine Word University in Madang.
“The skills have helped her to do what she loves doing and that is serving you today,”Ms Udu shared with the students of Kopkop College. In all her work Bubu Maria has emphasised to the leaders of this nation that there is a great concern in health, education and opportunities for women to be treated as equal partners in our nation.
“As Bubu Maria has taught us, we must continue to speak for our womenfolk, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and aunties,’’ Ms Udu emphasised.
“Bubu Maria built this institution not just as a school but the family of Kopkop College of which Bubu Maria’s motto reminds us all to ‘Listen to Learn and Learn to Listen.”
Meanwhile, Secondary school principal, Mrs. Roddy Abaddy said it makes her proud to be part of Kopkop College.
“As a woman I’m proud to be part of this team because of Bubu Maria, the founder who believed and still believes that education is power for women.”