Utmei school opens despite water concerns

National, Normal

GRADE 10 and 12 students of Utmei Secondary School have been ordered to resume classes this week despite the lingering water supply woes.
“They have already missed classes for two weeks.
“There is a fear that they may not be eligible for the final examinations at the end of the year if they continue to sit out,” East New Britain provincial administrator Akuila Tubal said.
This is amidst concerns of parents in the Gazelle district.
Continuous water problems at the school forced it to close early last year until today.
A joint inspection of facilities conducted by technical services, health and education authorities revealed that inadequate water reticulation within the campus had led to more severe problems in the sewerage system.
Vandalism by former students also damaged the state of facilities at the school.
Mr Tubal said Gazelle district began carting water to the school to relieve the drop in water level from the bore and a contractor is already on the ground to fix the sewerage and water piping
to allow classes to resume.
“While short-term corrective measures were being undertaken, Grades 10 and 12 students will have to start classes to avoid missing the year-end examinations. The others can begin later,” he said.
He assured parents and the school administration that the problem would be rectified soon after a proper inspection by the authorities was conducted.
Mr Tubal said apart from water carting and delivery of tuffa tanks to the school, Gazelle MP Malakai Tabar would be meeting technical staff to help decide on long-term measures.
Acting education adviser Paul Laure said all Grades 10 and 12 should return to Utmei Secondary School today while Grades 9 and 11 await further notice.