No school today at DES

The padlocked gate at Delap Elementary School, shut down by landowners who are waiting to get paid. As a result, the school is several weeks late in opening. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

HILARY HOSIA

“No child left behind” has always been a slogan for the education ministry. In the case of Delap Elementary School (DES), hundreds of schoolchildren are left behind because their school has been locked shut by the landowner.

The reason for the gate lockdown: The RMI Public School System (PSS) owes the landowners money. Delap Alap Noah Noah says he will open the school once payment is made.

Noah claims a portion of the campus was not included in the previous lease. “See that building there?” Said Noah pointing to a newer building inside the campus next to his home. “We recently found out that the building was not included in the previous lease after we did measurements,” Noah told the Journal. Noah is demanding PSS pay what is owed which is eight years of payment.

Noah says he has the support of Lerooj Esther Zedkeia and that he is acting on her behalf.

As of Wednesday, Noah says he might open the school if an agreement is made by the end of the week, indicating that PSS has been working with the Attorney General’s office on the matter.

“Even if I sign the lease and still receive no payment, I will still shut the school,” Noah added.

All the school-aged children in Noah’s residence are students of DES. They too are without school and he acknowledged this fact.

Problems with paying landowners for the DES property have a long history. The school has been closed several times in the past when landowners said they had not been paid in timely fashion.

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