School forced to close

National, Normal


WATER woes at a school in East New Britain has resulted in the suspension of classes for an indefinite period and students being sent home.
The provincial education board this week ordered the closure of Ramoaina Marine Technical High School on the Duke of York islands.
Chairman of the education board, Akuila Tubal, directed the suspension of classes for an indefinite period and 170 boarding students had been sent home.
Acting adviser for Education, Benias Illam said the education authorities did not want the school to remain open for the next three weeks as lack of clean drinking water could cause widespread health problems for the students.
“The school will remain close for the next three weeks because there is no clean water for the students to drink and dirty water can cause a widespread disease like cholera or diarrhoea within the school or the nearby communities,” Mr Illam said.
All rain water tanks in the students’ dormitories and the teachers houses have dried up due to the long dry spell and the island has no other option for water except to wait and hope for rain.
The Duke of York isles have been experiencing a dry spell in recent weeks causing difficulties for people to source clean drinking water.
Last week the education board suspended classes at Utmei Secondary school in the Gazelle district following the break down of the water supply system in August.
Since the water pump broke down, students and teachers had been using water from the tanks, but that had ran dry.