Parents urge authorities to reopen Notre Dame School

Highlands, Normal

THE parents and students of the Notre Dame Girls Secondary School in the Western Highlands province want the school to reopen.
The school was closed on Feb 12 by archbishop Douglas Young of the Mt Hagen Catholic Archdiocese and head of the church’s education agency.
About 700 students were told the school would be closed for an indefinite period after locals threatened to shut down the pump supplying water from a well located on school land unless K500,000 was paid to them as compensation.
Police have apprehended a  total of 13 suspects, of which, 11 were released on bail while two remain in police custody.
 Paul Ping, a parent, described the closure as an abuse to deny girls of their right to education.
“Since the closure, no leader had raised any concern about the situation of the school,” he said.
Mr Gima said the landowners would decide when the school reopens.
“The safety of the girls is of prime concern and negotiations are underway to strike an understanding between both parties,’’ he said.