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Dangerous Keravat high school faces closure

The board of Keravat National High School in Rabaul says the famous school will be suspended at the end of this academic year if facilities are not updated.

The news has shocked people associated with the school, which has educated PNG leaders since it was established in 1947.

“This report is very serious,” says Sir Paulias Matane, PNG Governor-General. “Please work out something positive for the concerned people to do for our former school.”

It comes within days of the formation of a Keravat Alumni Association and as a history of the school is being published. The book, Tuum Est - the history of Keravat National High School and its students 1947-1986 by Barbara Short, will be launched at Keravat by Sir Paulias on 10 September.

At its most recent meeting, the school board resolved to shut the school because of its dangerous state of disrepair. Many classrooms and dormitories that were condemned in 2004 are still being used.

An electrical company has refused to work on the buildings because the structures are unsound, roofs leak and it is dangerous to run electrical wiring through the building. Last week a student was electrocuted - but survived.

Yesterday principal Lilian Hahai reported that a teacher required medical attention when rotting steps collapsed under him and he sustained injuries to a leg.

Ms Hahai said that, despite the board’s decision, only the Minister for Education has the power to close the school. The board, however, has taken the stand that if nothing is done to improve the buildings, it will have no option but to suspend the school at the end of this year.

In anticipation of this closure, the board has approached the media to advise parents to looking for places elsewhere for current Grade 11 students.


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