CLASSES at primary schools will still be on during the PNG Games next week, meaning students at schools around the National Capital District could have disrupted classes in weeks eight and nine of the fourth term.
Taurama Barracks Primary School, which will accomodate some 400 athletes from Eastern Highlands province who will arrive next Monday, has undergone some preparatory and maintanence work by PNG Games Council contractors over the last few weeks.
However, headmaster Dennis Iauve has raised concerns regarding the situation.
“The renovations to the school done by contractors have been good but there are still some issues that need to be looked into,” Iauve said.
He said because the PNG Games will take place during the regular school term, classes would be disrupted.
“We will not be able to use our classrooms for the duration of the Games as the athletes will use them for accomodation.
“We will have to conduct our classes outside in the school yard or have half days,” a concerned Iauve said.
The Taurama headmaster said he had earlier written to the previous PNG Games management and the NCD education office requesting that a two-week holiday be granted to all schools in Port Moresby during the Games but did not get any response.
Iauve’s other concern was that his students would find the period distracting and had no doubt this would be the same case at other host schools.
“Physically, it will be a challenge for teachers to manage students during this time but mentally it will also be a hard task as they (students) will most likely have their minds elsewhere.”
The grades that will be affected the most at Taurama Primary are Grades 5 and 7 while the Grade 8s have already completed the school year.
The school caters for more than 900 students from elementary to Grade 8.
Iauve was also critical of the contractors’ slow pace of work, saying there were still things to be done.
“Some of the classrooms that will be used by the athletes still need their power connected and lights and fans installed. “The work must be thoroughly completed before the team arrive,” he said.
When asked how much of an impact the Games would have on students Iauve said concentration and attendance would be the main areas of contention.
He added that teachers would be hard pressed to keep their pupils attentive with a large group of people in their school.
Contractors have installed nine shower heads and have painted classrooms and ablution blocks while replacing fixtures and locks in the school.
Twelve classrooms have been allocated to house athletes which Iauve said would be adequate however he did point out that he was not sure which party would cover cost of power and water during the period.
“This is going to put pressure on our facilities here at Taurama but we’ll just have to manage as I’m sure it will be the same story at other schools around NCD.”