10 May 2023

Napranum school racing against clock to be ready for school year

| Matt Nicholls
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Napranum community members and Elders turn the first sod at the site of the Kluthuthu Christian College, which is meant to open next week.

A NEW primary school will open its doors to students in Term 1 this year, but may not be ready in time for next Monday’s return to school date.

Kluthuthu Christian College founder Mark Howard said the wet season had foiled plans to have buildings installed on the site in Napranum, which will have its own school for the first time since 2005.

“There have been a few challenges,” Mr Howard admitted.

“The ground is soft and we can’t get the trucks on the site without getting bogged.”

The Kluthuthu school will be located on the former Napranum school’s oval, between the child care centre and the council administration centre.

“We might have a little bit of a delayed opening, but we will do all we can to open (on Monday),” Mr Howard said.

Currently, all Napranum children have to go to Weipa to attend school, either at Western Cape College or St Joseph’s.

Mr Howard said Kluthuthu would offer a local alternative and had been well supported by the community.

“I think we have around 30 students enrolled,” he said last week.

“This is something the community has been asking for and I’m sure they will support it.”

Vernon Clark has been appointed as principal and has recruited staff to fill the key roles at the school.

Mr Howard said the Christian school was self-funded through donations and wouldn’t be able to get government funding as an independent school until it had been running for six months.

“These are the challenges we face but we are committed,” he said.

“We’ve got 3.6 acres to work with and the school is only going to grow.

“These hiccups at the start will be worth it in the long run and we thank the community for its patience.”

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