THE Rosary Secondary School at Kondiu in Simbu Province began its third term on a dramatic note when students were told to show up with K100 before normal classes would resume.
The students were asked to jointly contribute a sum of K250,000 in compensation for the death last month of a Grade 11 student during a schoolboys rugby league match between Kondiu and Kerowagi Secondary.
The relatives of the victim demanded that his school, Kondiu, pay the K250,000. The amount was divided among all students, teachers, and ancillary staff. Students were told to return to school after the second term holiday with nothing less than K100.
When students returned to school they found that the payment had to be made before they could attend classes. From last Monday, the principal persistently demanded the students to provide K100 each.
Classes did not commence and students were told to go home and return with the K100 compensation.
During the week, many students were seen on the streets of Kundiawa with small yellow envelopes looking for district administrators, members of parliament and business houses to sponsor them.
Angry and anxious parents convened to question the principal’s integrity and his authority for harshly penalising every student in this way. Parents demanded a better explanation and said that the school should meet the claim instead of demanding that students pay.
Parents said that, for innocent students, the affair had placed their education in limbo. The compensation demand also placed an excessive burden on parents.
Schools are not business houses and the huge amount of compensation could even close the school for the rest of the year.
As I write this, students continue looking for money and classes are yet to resume.