East New Britain school gets new double classroom

Islands, Normal

The National, Tuesday 4th June 2013

 DAYS of attending classes outdoors sitting on the grass lawn under the trees will be a thing of the past for students at Clifton Primary School in East New Britain.

A new double classroom was opened last Friday funded by the Rabaul district education sector to replace a bush material classroom.

District education coordinator Hubert Wangun had warned the school to build a proper classroom for the children or face closure.

School board official Robert Viringa said the school had been affected by poor financial management in the past.

After they received the warning from Wangun, the parents put their heads together and decided to build the classroom.

Coconut trees were sourced from the nearby plantation and sawn into timber for the classroom. Carpenters in the community offered their services voluntarily which saw the classroom completed in a month.

Wangun said the national government’s free education policy had caused an influx of students in the district.

“In high schools, the ratio of students to teachers is 50 to 60, primary school 30 to 50 per class and many schools were not prepared for the influx resulting in the shortage of teachers and classrooms,” Wangun said.

“Teaching positions are limited to the level of the school and if enrolment triples and doubles there is shortage.”

He said the school had a class that was still without a teacher.

Clifton Primary School caters for children from the 11 wards in the resettlement area of Rabaul and Gazelle and one from Palavirua ward in the Kokopo district.

The school still faces a shortage of a double classroom, teacher’s house and a teacher.

One class has 51 students taught by one teacher and the school library was being used as a classroom.