The National – Tuesday, February 1, 2011
By GABRIEL FITO
WITH all schools set to resume next week, parents of more than 20 students from St John Bosco Dagua High School along the west coast of Wewak have cried foul over the selection of their children to do Grade 11 at a non-boarding secondary school in town.
The parents said their children’s selection to Bishop Leo Secondary School in town would definitely cause an upset as most of them would face problems in accommodating their children with relatives in town.
Spokesman Mike Primus said it would have been better if their students were selected to Brandi and Mercy secondary schools while students from the town schools were selected to Bishop Leo Secondary School.
He said having this problem in mind, all of their students made their choices to study at a boarding institution but to their surprise, the provincial education division selected them to schools which they did not chose.
Primus blamed the provincial education division for the gross violation of their children’s choices and questioned the selection criteria used by the division for Grade 11 selection.
Provincial education adviser Joseph Auli said the students were selected to boarding institutions according to their level of academic excellence.
He said there had been an increase in Grade 11 intakes this year – from between 600 and 740 students in the past years to 1,005 students who were eligible to continue Grade 11 this year.
Auli said the increase in Grade 11 enrollments this year had resulted in insufficient spaces in boarding schools and therefore, the provincial education board decided that the students were given spacing in boarding schools starting with the academically achieved student downwards.
He said after the boarding schools, including the national high schools, took in all they could, the rest were selected to Bishop Leo like Yangoru who takes in students from within their vicinity.
Meanwhile, Auli had urged all teachers in the province to resume at their respective schools this week and not in the streets of Wewak, Maprik or in their villages.
He said the school year started yesterday with the resumption of work for teachers while formal classes for students would resume next Monday.