27 May 2002

PNG teachers to return to work after Morobe murder

6:36 am on 27 May 2002

Almost all the Papua New Guinea teachers who walked off the job three weeks ago amid concerns about their safety will be back at work this week.

More than 300 teachers in the Wau Bulolo region of Morobe Province withdrew their labour after the murder of a colleague, Anthony Pokahun.

The teachers had demanded that the community restrain the growing numbers of violent young people there.

The Secretary of Education Peter Baki says many of the teachers had already returned to work, but around fifty who worked in schools closest to where the killing occurred have only now decided to go back.

He says police and the community have met the teachers and given them their support and encouragement.

He says the Ministry fully supports the action the teachers took.

"Considering the fact that they work in very difficult circumstances so if the situation was made that the security was not guaranteed we would not force the teachers to return."

Peter Baki.