MANY students at Malala Secondary School in the Bogia district, Madang province, have fled the school after a few Grade 10 students involved in cult activities forced them to take part in their rituals.
An unspecified number of Grade 10 students, who are believed to be members of a newly formed cult group, were forcing other students from junior grades, mostly from Grade 9, to go through their cult initiations.
Many parents rang The National complaining that their children were assaulted and, against their will, told to take part in the cult initiations.
Catholic education secretary Bruno Tulemanil, in a phone interview, confirmed receiving reports from parents and of students fleeing Malala because of the illegal cult activities.
Mr Tulemanil, however, said without informing the school administration the frightened students fled while others rang their parents to come and pick them up.
He said he was not happy with the school administration for keeping silent over the issue and questioned why a report was not sent to the agency.
Three of the cult leaders were identified and have been suspended. Others are awaiting disciplinary action.
Mr Tulemanil said the matter would be referred to the police.