By Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Classes at Butuka Elementary in the Moresby South Electorate of Port Moresby remain suspended, for three weeks. This follows a notice from NCDC Health, condemning the elementary school for not having proper toilets and classrooms.
The school has been forced to construct a pit toilet, as a temporary relief measure.
Volunteers have started digging the spot where the pit toilets will be located.
Butuka Elementary School Board Chairman, Joseph Mage said this is a temporary measure taken by the school while awaiting assistance from Moresby South Electorate Office and Motu –Koitabu Office, which they are currently in talks with.
Head Teacher, Inoi Kake said both elementary and primary students share one common toilet block, however, last year, the male toilet was destroyed by students forcing the school administration to lock it up.
With only the female toilet open for use, students have resorted to using the nearby bushes or at the back of classrooms to relieve themselves.
Apart from toilet problems, the elementary school is overcrowded due to the O’Neill-Dion Government’s Free Education Policy that has seen an increase in the enrollment of students.
Although NCDC Health has condemned the school for having no desks, and for allowing students to sit on dusty floors; the elementary school is forced to have students sit on the floor as there is not enough space.
All these issues have caused the school to be suspended for three weeks. However, once the pit toilets are completed by Friday, it is expected that classes should resume, next week.
The elementary school is in dire need of immediate intervention and assistance.