By DOROTHY MARK
ONLY 3000 out of 8000 grade 8 students in Madang will go to high schools because the province has more primary schools and fewer high schools.
Provincial grade 8 examination coordinator Staal Columbus said Madang had a low number of high schools and more primary schools.
That is why more than 5000 students will have no space in the existing high schools.
Columbus said this during the marking of the grade 8 examination papers on Tuesday.
He said there were more than 200 primary schools with hundreds of students.
Columbus said most of these students were struggling to get a space in high school every year when the school year began.
He said when more than 3000 students scored good marks, the cut-off mark was increased so that only the ones who scored well were selected to do Grade 9 in available high schools.
“Most students who scored good grades returned home as failures,” Columbus said.
“It’s not because they are failures: It’s because there are no spaces available in the high schools we have.”
Senior school inspector basic education Jesse Kouro said Madang lacked the political will to drive the agenda of building more high schools.
“We made submissions after submissions for the last 30 years since the introduction of the top-up programme in primary schools and still nothing has happened,” he said.
Kouro said the provincial education board tried to address the problem by elevating certain primary schools into high schools.
Columbus said the students in areas that will be affected the most were Middle Ramu, Usino-Bundi and Raicoast.
He said those areas have one high school each and that means many students will be left out.
By DOROTHY MARK