By YVONNE HAIP
GRADE 12 students attending the Fr Peter (Fatima) Secondary School in Banz, Western Highlands, set aside any grudges they had with one another to sit for their national examinations this week.
After having eight weeks of classes disrupted due to a fight among male students over the theft of a mobile phone, they decided to put an end to their differences and focus on their examination.
During an emotional feast last Saturday night, the students pledged to unite and do well in their examinations to maintain the outstanding academic record set by former students.
They said because the school had been ranked as one of the top schools in the nation, they would show that they were capable of producing high-class results and would not let the school down.
Students described the gathering as “special and memorable” because they had fought each other mercilessly but realised that it was their future they had put at stake.
They said during the unrest, they did not consider their education as the most important tool in their lives but the banquet had made them come to realise the purpose of being educated.
School authorities, new principal John Aipeta and the Catholic church made the night a success for the students.
They also acknowledged the Western Highlands students crisis solution group led by Wilfred Kulno for solving the student unrest which could have led to an all out ethnic clash.
The students had separated into Western Highlands and Jiwaka ethnic groups and fought each other using bush knives and sticks.
Several attempts by relevant authorities to solve the dispute were unsuccessful until the solution group was formed by independent bodies.
The group name was chosen to represent the students and portray that even though Jiwaka was set to become a separate province, they were currently one.