HCC forces school closure

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…..Perch school forced to shut doors on students

BY BARNABAS MANEBONA

PERCH Christian School will close down tomorrow following a directive from the Honiara City Council which has angered parents and teachers of the school.

Demolition and removal of the school’s library building structure and its fencing at the school compound extension is to take place according to Honiara City Council’s (HCC) Building Ordinance.

This comes after the school received a seven (7) days notice on the 7th of September by the HCC Senior Building Inspector Mr Japhet Tuhanuku.

Within the notice, it stated that from observation, the school has not complied with an earlier notice requiring them to remove the building.

Whatever the real reason behind this motive of removal by HCC is not clarified as attempts to contact their Physical Planning, Education and Administration Divisions was unsuccessful.

However, Island Sun understands that the schools issue is in a mix up situation under the laws and development plans of Honiara by responsible authorities from the Ministries of Infrastructure and Development, Lands and Education including HCC.

According to Perch Christian School Director Ms Lydia Yeo, it is now more than two years they have been pestered by HCC over this issue which includes the school’s front gate.

She said seeking the Ministry of Education, police and even MID for their positive assistance into the issue is only ineffective.

“The same Building Inspector who gave us the approval for the school’s fencing is the one now giving the seven days demolition notice. But we had already paid for the inspection license,” said the Director.

“We have not built illegally over this land. We have paid for the land title from the Ministry of Lands and we are registered under the Ministry of Education.

“When we want to develop our school, HCC then steps in with the reason that MID is to widen the road with a four lane plan.”

“What about other buildings built near the main road, why it is that only Perch Christian School is being disturbed with this four lane road plan said to be developed in years to come?”

“Since establishing this school, all I ever want is to help our children through education but this dream and aim seems to be going nowhere from continuous pestering.”

School parents of Perch School attending the school meeting over the issue yesterday expressed that they want the school to continue operating for the sake of their children’s education to not be disturbed.

They questioned the School Administration that if the school is on the right side, then why responsible authorities do continue to bother the school.

“We are only hearing the schools side of story but if what they say is true then we must sign a protest letter now to stop the school from closing,” said the concerned parents.

The school’s parents after the meeting signed a letter of protest for the Perch Administration to present tomHCC.

According to the schools Director, Perch School will be closed until the school’s closed gate is re-open, work on its library structure continues and its fence remains.

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