10 Dec 2003

PNG teachers warned against sex abuse

11:07 am on 10 December 2003

Newly-qualified teachers in Papua New Guinea have been warned there is now an official policy of zero tolerance toward sexual offending against students.

The operations chief of the Teaching Services Commission, Michael Pearson, told primary school-teachers graduating from Madang Teachers College that a new law imposes severe penalties on people who breach a position of trust.

He says sexual abuse of students by teachers is an on-going problem in PNG.

"It is a fairly common occurrence, it's just that in many cases it is not reported. In the last year, there has been a new act, the Sexual Offences Act, for the legal sector which has increased the punishment particularly for people in positions of trust, such as teachers."

Michael Pearson, the operations head of the PNG Teaching Services Commission.