Parents and teachers at Huonville Primary School in Lae have begun building two temporary buildings to allow for more that 1400 students to return to class.
Two weeks ago, six classrooms were condemned by the Building Board and the Papua New Guinea Fire Service. The decision forced the school to send home more than 1400 students.
Last week, the school’s administration began an appeal to raise money for the construction of temporary classrooms to house the students.
The foundations have been set.
They’ve raised K20,000 for this project in two weeks. But from here on, it is starting to be a leap of faith. They don’t know where the money is going to come from to complete these two large buildings.
“I am calling on the Governor to come here and see this for himself,” said the Chairman of the Parents and Citizen’s Association, Anton Warakai. “This is a big school.”
So far there has been no help from the Morobe Provincial Government or the National Government. The state of the school and the fact that 1400 students have been sent home is an embarrassment for the Morobe Administration.
The so called infrastructure component of the Tuitions Fee Free Education was never paid since 2013. School records show that the Education Department owes Huonville close to half a million kina. It’s the same story for schools all over Lae City.
“I have gone to the school myself. I’ve also asked for the records which I will take to the minister and push for funding,” said Lae MP, John Rosso. “It makes things hard for the school with TFF not arriving on time.”
Two weeks ago, P & C Chairman, Anton Warakai, expressed anger at the delays in the TFF saying the policy was just nor working for many schools in Lae.
“The Government is lying to us. It should come out and tell the truth.
After a lot of public pressure slamming the government over the apparent failure of the TFF in various schools all over the country, The education Minister, Nick Kuman, has come out stating that the Education Department owes Schools more than K140 million
For now, that statement is of little value to Huonville Primary, who need at least K4 million kina to replace their condemned classrooms.