By ELIZABETH VUVU
KEREVAT National High School in East New Britain will close at the end of the year because it has been condemned as a health hazard.
This means that there will be no classes next year.
The national education board (NEB) has endorsed the school governing council decision for the closure made in August based on a report highlighting critical issues such as students, teachers and their families living in condemned accommodation, water and sewerage system described as a health hazard and the classrooms described as a death trap for teachers and students.
A member of the NEB Anthony Tsora, who is also a member of the school governing council, said at the weekend that classes would be suspended for the new academic year.
The NEB had made a further request for the Health Department to conduct inspections following reports on the water supply and sewerage system which had broken down allowing waste into the nearby Kerevat river posing a serious health risk, which would also be raised at the next NEB meeting.
Tsora said that this particular health report would add weight to the governing council’s decision to close.
He said the possible closure of Kerevat would ultimately place a strain on other secondary schools in the province due to limited spaces for Grade 11s, especially with Grade 10 students sitting for their national examinations which end this Friday.
The NEB will nominate a caretaker team to maintain and look after the school next year while refurbishment of school buildings and facilities take place within this period.
Meanwhile, teachers will be transferred to other schools and the school board has made a strong recommendation that the national department responsible for funding earmarked for the school should go through legal and proper procedures so that rehabilitation work could be fully completed.
Meanwhile, the deteriorating infrastructure and consequential health risk for both students and staff at the school have been a major concern for the past few years.