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Two primary schools in PNG clash

Literacy week celebrations turned violent in Mt Hagen as an all-out student clash erupted between Mt Hagen T and Tarangau Primary Schools on Friday. The clash started at the Queens Park where most of the primary and community schools in and around Mt Hagen were celebrating the end of literacy week, following  a colourful dramatic vehicle  convoy parade around the city.  Traffic along the city’s section  of the Highlands Highway came to a standstill and business houses closed doors around  2pm as the road turned into  a battle field, with students hurling stones,  sticks and other projectiles at each other. Students from schools towards the eastern part of the city supported Mt Hagen Tarangau while those on the western  sector backed up Hagen T in what was the first ever clash  amongst the lower schools in the city. Mt Hagen police fired several rounds of shots and teargas and was eventually able to contain the situation after several hours of clashes. Two weeks ago there was a similar clashing incident between Mt Hagen Secondary and Hagen Park High Schools during a  senior high schools career expo at the Mt Hagen Park High School. In both the clashes, many students sustained injuries. An investigation into the clash between the senior high schools was still underway when the student clash between the community and primary schools erupted. At the helm of the Provincial Education Board, two different persons are allegedly claiming to be the Provincial Education Advisor – one appointed by the PEC; the other reinstated by the courts. The Highlands Regional Teachers Association has predicted more trouble and problems to be faced by schools in the province due to the confusion and lack of control at the Provincial Education Department. Western Highlands Provincial Police Commander, Martin Lakari, called on parents and teachers to take stock of their kids and discipline them accordingly. “This sort of violence amongst students is erupting because they are not being seriously taught and disciplined by parents and teachers that violence  is not part of their education and young life,” Supt Lakari said. “No kid should be ignored and left on their own in the thinking that they will grow up to become good citizens,” he added. The Education Department is yet to establish whether another investigation would be conducted concerning this latest school clash of Friday.

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