Head: School is full

Highlands, Normal

Then National, Wednesday 12th September, 2012

THE West Goroka Primary School management yesterday admitted feeling the pressure of the influx of students seeking enrolment as a direct impact of the free education policy.
Head teacher Tony Koyangko and board of management chairman Joppa Gomia said they were working to expand school infrastructure to meet the increasing number of students at the school in Goroka, Eastern Highlands.
“The major problem facing the school today is elementary schools are getting more pupils because of the government’s free education policy,” Gomia said.
“More students are coming to primary schools and we cannot stop enrolling them because of their right to basic education.
“The universal basic education policy of the government and population growth have contributed towards schools feeling pressure over enrolment,” Koyangko said.
He said at West Goroka Primary, they began to build classrooms to handle the increasing number of students.
“We are only concentrating on creating classrooms to house the influx, let alone other important infrastructure like libraries and science and computer laboratories because we do not have enough money to build everything at once,” Koyangko said.
He said houses for teachers were another problem but they could not look at that right away.
The school has 10 houses to accommodate teachers and 29 teachers live off the school.
West Goroka Primary School has 39 teachers, 1,554 students, 11 members on the board of management.
It is one of the largest primary schools in the province.
Gomia said the Education Department had no plans to cater for this problem.
He said West Goroka planned to have six streams of classes in each grade by 2017.
“We have three and four streams of classes from Grade 3 to Grade 8 and we are doing our best to accommodate the influx of students.
“I call on the government through the Education Department to carefully assess the problems confronting schools from the free education and UBE policy.
The government should put money where its priority is to adequately address problems and achieve its aims and goals,” Gomia said.
The school recently bought uniforms for students and teachers at a cost of K93,000.
It also bought 250 new desks.