By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
MORE than 1,200 students from the Brugam secondary and top-up primary schools in Maprik district, East Sepik province, were forced to take an early break last Wednesday.
The schools were forced to shut down after the surrounding villagers, armed with bush knives, axes, bows and arrows, rampaged through the schools harassing and intimidating the students and teachers following the burning down of the Brugam Secondary High School principal, Brian Waranduo’s house.
The fire mysteriously started at about 10.30am last Monday in a bedroom before spreading. The fire razed the home within 30minutes.
Fortunately, no one was in the house but the Waranduos lost all their valuable belongings and were left with the clothes they were wearing.
While the school board of management and village elders were still assessing the cause of the fire, frustrated relatives of Mr Waranduo, armed with bush knives and axes, instigated the rampage the following day.
They initially harassed students and then destroyed school property when expressing their anger over the burning down of the house.
The villagers then mobilised and rampaged through the school searching for the headmaster’s relatives.
The school board managed to control the riot and no one got hurt despite the deadly nature of the confrontation.
The incident left both students and teachers traumatised and unable to continue with their lessons.
They were told by the board to go for an early first tern holiday and return after the break.
The secondary school is a boarding school while the top-up is a day school.