School without power supply

Lae News, Normal

The National, Thursday 5th January 2012

STUDENTS from Menyamya High School, Morobe, have been using candles and hurricane lamps to study for the past 10 years, school board chairman Isa Elijah says.
He said it was why most students had been unable to further their education.
But, he said, despite that situation, last October, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Morobe Governor Luther Wenge declared the school would become a secondary institute this year.
Elijah said to ensure that was fulfilled, Menyamya required chemistry, biology and a computer laboratory, a 60kva generator, five staff houses, a dormitory to house 40 girls and an ablution block.
He said intakes would increase from 524 to 600 and the Teaching Service Commission had approved a staff ceiling increase from 17 to 25 this year.
“But to have in place all required teaching and learning facilities will cost K2.4 million and that was the package submitted to O’Neill,” Elijah said.
Elijah said in its budget appropriation last year, the provincial government allocated K1 million to improve facilities at the school.
He said the school board, teachers, parents and students had been left in the dark with no further word from O’Neill and Wenge as the new academic year approached.
“Without electricity supply to school or having a generator over the years, students night study schedules were affected, with most resorting to using candles and hurricane lanterns,” Elijah said.
Last November, local MP Benjamin Philip helped with K50,000, to convert a boy’s dormitory into a Grade 11 classroom.
“The delay has forced the school to convert a double-storey building from home economics and science classrooms into chemistry and biological laboratories,” he said.
Elijah, who is a staff member at the Menyamya health centre, said continuous heavy rain since October had seen the road, especially from Langema junction in Aseki to Sikong mountain down to Pinake village, in Menyamya, begin to deteriorate.