By ELIZABETH VUVU
THE East New Britain provincial administration is commissioning an independent assessment of the rehabilitation work on Kerevat National High School.
The assessment follows a public outcry, especially from parents, that the school may not be ready for the new school year this month.
The rehabilitation was undertaken by the National Government at a cost of K7 million.
SWT Contractors started works to renovate dormitories, classrooms and other facilities like the water and sewerage system in 2008 and was scheduled for completion in two years.
Provincial administrator Akuila Tubal said: “I am worried that the school will not be ready for the new academic year.
“The division of technical services will immediately engage an independent assessment of the project’s progress and determine whether the contractor completed its agreed tasks.
“Parents have the right to know the status of the school and why it has not started enrolling Grade 11.
“Many Grade 10s have graduated and will qualify for admission to Grade 11 but secondary school space is limited,” Mr Tubal said.
The school’s governing council chairman Ronnie Ilam blamed the contractor for not completing its required tasks as per the agreement resulting in non-enrolment of new students.
“He said the contractor has completed work on the dormitories but the classrooms are not ready. The amount of money awarded to the contractor is too excessive, and given the time span, work should have been completed now.”
Mr Ilam said the slow progress was largely due to non-supervisory of work resulting in waste of time with workers operating irregularly.
“We can only tackle immediate issues because the school is a national institution under the National Education Board.
“The project is undertaken by the Department of Planning and Monitoring in
SWT Contractors managing director Eremas Wartoto said work on the 12 dormitories had been completed and the keys would be handed to the school administration in two weeks time, on or before Jan 23.
“The non-enrolment of Grade 11 students for the school this year is an issue for the appropriate authorities to deal with.
“The refurbished dormitories are as good as those in universities,” he said.
He stressed that under the K7 million contract, the scope of work only covered dormitories, water and sewerage system and did not cover classrooms.
Mr Wartoto said water supply had been reconnected and “we are now working on the sewerage system”.
Asked if the K7 million could have covered maintenance on the deteriorating classrooms, he said: “Contracts were given accordingly to job scopes awarded by the Central Supply and Tenders Board.
“Proper procedures were followed.”