Schools to close, polling to start

All schools will close for their term two break on Friday, the 1st of July.

Morobe’s provincial program advisor for education, Keith Tangui, said polling will not affect students’ learning as it was already factored into the 2022 academic calendar.

“The students will be home for two weeks of holiday, and that is the polling period,” said Tangui.

“The Electoral Commission has written to the Department of Education, to our Minister and the Secretary for Education, Dr Uke Kombra, especially for appointment of teachers to be polling officials for this election.

“Also they’ve asked us to allow our venues; classrooms and halls, to be used as counting venues for elections. That’s in order. We’re a state agency. We’re helping our country so our people can vote for the right candidate.”

Tangui, however, said his office is yet to know the number of teachers in Morobe who will take part.

On Monday (yesterday), he asked Morobe’s deputy provincial administrator – social services, Robin Bazzinuc, to write to the Morobe Electoral Commission to provide them with the list of teachers, including the schools they are from and how long the Commission will utilise them.

The head of education further hopes that teachers with experience in election-related activities will be appointed as they will be dealing with sensitive information in a volatile environment.

“You must be able to make risk decisions on the spot in polling venues,” he stated.

“We don’t want officers to be placed in a position where they don’t know their role or their responsibility, unless the Electoral Commission had already trained them and they are well aware of what to do.”

Carmella Gware