The National, Thursday 30th May 2013
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
EDUCATION Minister James Marape is taking school principals to task and holding them responsible for repeated instances of school fights.
Following this week’s fight between arch-rivals Bugandi and Lae secondary schools in Lae, Marape said there were standing instructions to schools to “warn, suspend and terminate students engaged in fights”.
“If this is not done, then school principals do not deserve to continue in their posts,” he said.
In his address to Parliament yesterday, Marape advised that school boards which included the head teachers had to act and maintain discipline on students involved in fights.
“Fighting and injuring each other is a violent crime and this will not be tolerated.
“The school boards and head teachers or principals of the schools have the power to dispense discipline and I urge them to do so to the recent fight between the two schools in Lae,” Marape said.
He also criticised Lae schools for being irresponsible because of reported fighting that occurred almost every year between students.
“Every year we hear fighting between the schools in Lae,” Marape said.
“It has been a continued bad practice which means school boards have not been disciplining the students.
“If the fights continue then head teachers and boards will be suspended or demoted.
“So I call on the students to stop fighting and the school boards to execute and maintain discipline of your students.”
Marape said he was talking with the Correctional Services Minister Jim Simatab to make it law for students involve in fights to be reported and taken in for juvenile rehabilitation.
“I have issued a strong advice to the schools to maintain discipline on their students by warning the students to not get engaged in school fights,” Marape said.
“If the students do no adhere to instruction or if investigation finds the student in the wrong then he will be suspended or terminated.”