Buai, smoke, alcohol ban looms for schools

National, Normal


STARTING next year, primary and secondary school teachers will be warned to pull up their socks and perform according to ethics or be kicked out, Education Minister James Marape said yesterday.
Mr Marape said from next year, there would be a total ban on betelnut chewing, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption during school hours and inside school facilities.
Teachers with long hair or dread locks would also be asked to visit the barber.
The purpose, he said, was to set standards for students to follow.
Mr Marape said he would be issuing these instructions because he believed teachers had an influence on the students they educated.
“Teachers are the primary agents of change in the country and their ethics is something that is required at all times,” he said.
Mr Marape said that teachers who did not abide by these ethics “could find themselves on the streets as there are many teachers coming through”.
It was said by the end of this year, teachers would receive their outstanding 13% salary increase and that there would be continued improvements in other conditions.
Mr Marape also announced that the universal basic education (UBE) plan, which Cabinet had blessed, would be launched tomorrow.
The UBE plan would see the reintroduction of English as a mode of instruction at elementary schools.
The local mode of instruction would still prevail but teachers would have the discretion. 
On that note, Mr Marape urged students throughout the nation to make use of existing open colleges, as arms of tertiary institutions, to broaden their knowledge.
He assured that the Government would continue to improve facilities at tertiary institutions.
He was responding, in Parliament, to questions raised by North Waghi MP Benjamin Mul.
Mr Mul asked for tertiary institutions to be built in the Highlands region to accommodate the rising demand of students from the area.
He called for facilities in schools to be upgraded to deliver quality education and for teachers to improve their attendance, apart from others.
He also wanted the elementary education to have English included, adding that local languages were not helping students progress in this modern day and age.
“Education is important for the future of this country,” he said.