BOUGAINVILLE SCHOOL ENDS CLASSES OVER POWER

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BOUGAINVILLE, Papua New Guinea (Oct. 18, 2002 – Post Courier)---Classes for Grades 9 and 11 students at Hutjena Secondary School in Buka have been suspended.

And preparations for Grades 10 and 12 national examinations are under threat if power problems persist.

Further, the Bougainville administration's failure to improve on long hours of power blackouts will badly affect school exams next week if not addressed immediately.

Assistant Secretary for Education Anthony Tsora said students were sent home because of the sanitation and water problems caused by the continuous power blackouts.

The school relies on electric water pumps for water from bores into the reservoir tanks

Tsora said if the situation worsened, Grade 10 and 12 students, now currently in school, would also be sent home and recalled only to sit for their exams as scheduled. "Unhygienic conditions have forced us to suspend classes to prevent students from getting sick," Tsora said.

"We (Education Division) and the school are equally concerned about the students' study as the environment at home has proven not conducive to do proper studies.

"The water problem has resulted from the Bougainville administration's failure to improve long hours of power blackout . . . there was no where else to look at the problem, but to stick to the decision, which stemmed from the administration's failure."

Tsora said the school had been providing drums of fuel like any other business house to the Buka power house but that had been very costly.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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