22 Aug 2015

Severe drought in PNG may force schools to close

8:54 am on 22 August 2015

Severe drought conditions in Papua New Guinea may force schools to shut in the Enga Province, potentially impacting more than 100,000 students.

Children in Papua New Guinea

Children in Papua New Guinea Photo: AFP / ARIS MESSINIS

The provincial education director, Rowatina Was, says schools are on the verge of closure due to a severe shortage of water and associated problems.

The Post Courier reports Mr Was told a special provincial disaster and emergency meeting that 15,000 students from 11 different schools have already asked for the suspension of classes because of the water shortage.

He says they are also running out of food and vegetables, but says he wanted to consult with senior government officials before he approved the school closures.

The Post Courier says children and teachers in primary, community, elementary, vocational schools and the tertiary institutions such as Enga Teachers College, IBS and Enga College of Nursing will be affected if a decision is made to suspend classes.