Ethnic clash shuts Wawin High

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

THE Wawin National High School in Huon Gulf district, Morobe, has been suspended for an indefinite period because of an ethnic clash between coastal and highlands students.
The fight on Tuesday night resulted in two students being severely injured and admitted at Angau Memorial Hospital while others suffered injuries to their bodies.
The fight is believed to be over an incident two weeks ago when male students were watching a national rugby league match in the mess which had been scheduled to host a fellowship night. 
Principal Pakiam Arulappan, is believed to have switched off the television, sparking animosities.
In the past two weeks, most parents drove to school and picked up their children while those who remained there were yesterday escorted out under by police and ArmSec security personnel.
Last Friday, the school governing council met and resolved the issue to allow students back to start the academic year again.
But on Tuesday night, the fight erupted, with the police rural patrol unit and riot squad and ArmSec personnel called in to calm the situation.
When asked to comment about the cause of the incident and the number of student being injured and verify some allegations, Arulappan declined.
This is what he wrote on the reporter’s note book:
“In the wake of the tense situation in school, the education authorities have suspended the classes for an indefinite period of time pending P&C meeting to be held on Sunday at Wawin national school on 11am to resolve the matter. All parents are requested to attend the meeting.”
Arulappan and a secondary schools inspector who declined to give his name, said the situation was tense and they could not make comments.