By ROBERT PALME
ONE of the oldest high schools in the country, and one that has produced some of the country's top brains is in dire straits for funds to remain open.
Kerema Coronation High School which produced former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta, late Governor General and first Papua New Guinea writer Sir Vincent Eri and others was condemned by health authorities and needs more than K5 million to maintain its infrastraucture which has been falling apart since.
According to the board chairman Jack Narrie pictured above, health authorities condemned the school around October and issued eviction notices when a female student fell from through the rotting floors and sustained severe injuries.
Mr Narrie told reporters on Friday that the school which was opened when Queen Elizabeth was coronated in 1956 has never had any maintenance since and the buildings are falling apart.
The Chairman said the transportation of materials is becoming a nightmare with shipping cost going upwards of K50,000 on charters as there is no scheduled shipping into Kerema.
The Provincial Government gave K350,000 and committed another K300, 000 and four classrooms.
Mr Narrie commended the provincial government for the help which he said was the first time ever for any government to give any such amounts.
However, the school would still need more to fully maintain the old buildings and or replace them.
He also told the reporters that four grade nine classrooms had since collapsed and the new classrooms would replace them.
The chairman said there is no science lab for a school which is situated right in the township of Kerema and the school needs one as science is a core subject.
He has called on parents to understand the dilemma he is going through and called for support from every person that would want to contribute.
The school he said could not close because it is the only centrally located school.
He also announced that the school has started classes last Monday, a week or two later than the rest and called for students to return if they were at home.