By JAMES APA GUMUNO
THE Grade Nine and 11 selections in the Western Highlands province is in chaos after the Supreme Court ruled the appointment of provincial education board (PEB) null and void late last year.
The PEB and selection committee were supposed to sit last November and do the selection and also the teachers postings for this year
The results of the selections was supposed to be put in last December but this never happened.
The parents and guardians of the students are in the dark, not knowing where their kids would be attending Grade Nine and 11 this year.
To make matters worse, the three-men bench Supreme Court sitting in Mt Hagen last Nov 27 declared the appointment of the PEB null and void.
The court declared the appointment null and void on the basis that the provincial executive council comprising of council presidents who appointed the PEB ceased to become members of the provincial assembly starting January 2007, and did not have the powers to make appointment on the PEB.
The three-man bench Supreme Court judges comprising of justices David Cannings, Graham Ellis and George Manuhu up-held the decision of the National Court judge Justice Colin Makail of March 31, 2008, and dismissed the appealed lodge by the provincial government and stayed the order granted by former chief justice the late Sir Mari Kapi on May 16, 2008.
A former member of the PEB said yesterday that because of the Supreme Court’s decision, they were now powerless and do not have the authority to do the selections.
He said all the selections were pending and they do not know who was going to do it because the parents needed to know to secure funds for their kids’ school fees this year.
A source claimed that the education system in the province was in chaos and appealed to the Governor Tom Olga and his provincial executive council to hold an emergency meeting quickly and appoint a new PEB to sort out the problem.
He said there was no time left, adding that after three weeks, the schools would start their classes for this school year.
Attempts to get comments from former education secretary Hans Gima were unsuccessful.