Eki Vaki primary cleared for classes

City Manager Bernard Kipit has cleared the Eki Vaki Primary School at Hohola in Port Moresby to resume classes following its closure on March 15, 2018.

The school was closed indefinitely when it was declared unfit for human occupancy by NCDC Health Inspectors owing to poor sanitary facilities, deteriorating classrooms and poor management of waste within the school.

Specific defects revealed by the inspection were deteriorating ablution buildings, malfunctioning water closets, no hand wash basins, toilets closed and insufficient sanitary facilities compared to the number of students and nil provision of drinking water taps.

It was also revealed that the classrooms are old and deteriorating with holes in the roof, not conducive for children’s learning during rainy seasons. Waste generated daily was not properly managed with evidence of waste piling up behind the ablution area.

The conditions according to the inspection reports were of serious concern and were in breach of the accepted health standards of the Public Health Regulations Act, chapter 226.

“The facilities have since been renovated and proper waste management processes are now in place at the school.

“NCDC health inspectors have done a follow up inspection to determine its status and are satisfied that the concerned areas have been well attended to and are up to the required standards in line with the Public Health Regulations.

“So today (Friday) I announce that the Eki Vaki Primary School at Hohola is re-opened for classes to resume,” Kipit said.

The closure affected over 2,000 students in elementary to Grade Eight and the prolonged situation raised concerns of parents and authorities.

The impact on the health and education of the children prompted NCDC to intervene with urgent repairs to the affected facilities to allow the children back into classes. The repairs cost the Commission almost K150,000

“I commend the contractors, Paigakele Building Construction and Aidapunga Limited, for urgently attending to the need of the school and for the commendable job with the repairs,” stated Kipit.

“The situation brings to light the importance of health and education and in this case our children are affected.

“This is a call to all authorities to be mindful of the need to observe and adhere to the various regulations on healthy living to avoid unnecessary disruptions to the education of our children.”

NCDC Deputy City Manager Community and Social Services, Lulu Ted, added that NCDC as the municipal authority of the City has an obligation to the safety and wellbeing of the residents.

“Our various regulations are in place for this purpose and if there is non-compliance by anyone, the Commission is empowered by law to take relevant remedial actions.

“Unfortunately, the school had to be closed at the expense of the children’s education but their health and well-being in the school is important as well.

“The concern here is the important need for a healthy and educated future,” Lulu said.

Press release