School shut due to rundown facilities

Lae News, Normal


DREGERHAFEN Technical Secondary School is suspended until further notice due to its overcrowded boarding facilities and rundown infrastructure.
The school’s plea for much needed funds to upgrade its facilities and infrastructures has gone unheard.
As a result, the Department of Health, through the Finschhafen district health administrator and district environmental health office, has officially closed the school.
This decision comes despite a K1.9 million rehabilitation of education sector infrastructure (RESI) funds approved for the school by the Department of Education this year.
A frustrated school principal, Tobias Abel, said the situation could have been
avoided if the money was released to them, but to date, they did not receive anything.
He said the closure notice was served to the school this week following a three-week mercy period granted to the school by the health authorities to rectify the issues highlighted in their September inspections this year.
Mr Abel added that two inspections were done and the school was given notices to improve its facilities but when the matter was brought to the attention of the district office as well as the Morobe Division of Education, it went unheeded.
According to the health inspection report, on the date of the closure about 500 boarding male students were occupying 40 dormitory rooms while their ablution block had been blocked for some time and the students were using two pit toilets.
The report further stated that it was a similar case for the boarding facilities of the female students.