9 May 2002

PNG teachers walk off job because of lawlessness

10:05 am on 9 May 2002

The Papua New Guinea Teachers Association says the community in the Wau-Bulolo area of Morobe must solve the lawlessness there if they want teachers to return to work.

339 teachers have gone on strike after the second killing of a teacher in the area in recent months.

Anthony Pokahun was shot in the grounds of his school on Thursday, while trying to stop gang members abducting his daughter.

The General Secretary of the PNG Teachers Association, Jon Li, says the teachers see it as a problem for the community to solve, and he says they have the backing of local government officials for their protest action.

"we believe in ourself that the administration in Morobe is very much in support of our calls to withdraw the teachers in the Wau-Bololo area because this is the second killing that have occurred in the same location and if the community doesn't respect the teachers it would be sad for us to allow our teachers to continue to go to that area. It's like sending them to the slaughtering house and it will be unfortunate if that happens again.ed"

Jon Li

The strike action has closed 46 schools, affecting seven thousand students.