The system whereby all Year 8 students automatically progress to Year 9 is crucial for access to quality education however, there is not enough schools in SHEFA Province to accommodate the increasing enrollment.
The Principal Education Officer (PEO) of SHEFA Education Office, Jonathan Yona, said Eles Centre School in Nguna had to create a new classroom to accommodate new students for Year 9 at the last minute, while works to formally upgrade the school to a secondary school will be completed later.
A few other schools are also in a better position for upgrade, to accommodate the increasing number of pupils, said the PEO.
“SHEFA has more Year 9 pupils than other provinces. The number of students enrolled in Year 9 have increased in most secondary schools,” he said.
“For example, around 250 students from SHEFA alone are enrolled at Malapoa College this year. Enrollment at the Onesua Presbyterian College (OPC) has also increased.
“The number of enrollment are increasing but there are still not enough schools to accommodate the pupils.
“The total number of students who have advanced from Year 8 to Year 9 level this year is over 1,000.”
PEO Yona urged communities to support the government address the issue by providing land as many schools do not have available land.