22 Aug 2007

Solomon Islands school attendance still irregular after April tsunami

7:06 pm on 22 August 2007

There is a lower rate of attendance at Gizo Community High School in Solomon Islands as students continue to find it difficult to adjust to life after April's earthquake and tsunami.

The deputy principal, Richard Hiva, says that the numbers at the school are also lower with approximately 50 students out of a roll of 210, leaving for other areas, including Honiara.

He says the school is operating in its own grounds but one building has been declared unsafe and the others have cracks in their walls.

Mr Hiva says the biggest problem they face is students not coming to school on a regular basis.

"Some of these students - they don't have houses. They're homeless, they live in tents and to be in a tent like that, I don't think all their needs are met that enables them to come to school. Psychologically they are affected very much from living in a normal house to suddenly shifting over to tents so things are abnormal for them."

Mr Hiva says students are displaying some abnormal behaviour including being a bit more aggressive, not listening and being very sensitive to noises like sirens.