Justice For PNG Children: Investigation Into K50 Million Stolen By Ghosts In The Education Department – Minister



The minister for education admitted education funds to a tune of K50 million went missing without trace during education leaders meeting in Lae recently. It is ominous though, a very important department has put K605 million (this year, 2015) in its pocket only to have realised K50 million has slipped out a hole.

Is education department on the back foot trying to find out how the hole was created or who created it? No. There is complete silence after education leaders meeting.

So, no news about any investigation would mean such theft is likely to continue? Surely the department has to look for ways to stop losing millions of kina to fraudsters and idiots who keep stealing from the children.

Obviously, people within education system and those outside of it have been able to intercept huge chunk of money easily. Whether they have collaborated at national or provincial levels can only be ascertain if an investigation is conducted.

Any baseless arguments (put forward by senior education officials) that ghost students or ghost teachers or ghost schools are to be blamed are baseless allegations. These allegations can be seen as smear campaigns to divert from catching the thieves, if the ministry of education (NEC included) are mum on this issue.

Papua New Guinea Teachers’ Association wanted the government to find out how the K50 million went missing. Opposition Leaders, Don Polye, clearly mentioned that an independent investigation into missing education funds must be carried out. Same sentiments are equally shared among education leaders as evident in recent media reports.

NEC, having sacked education secretary, must now investigate the missing funds. K50 million is a lot of money. There will be traces to follow to either recoup the money or put a stop to such wastage.

Education department should not make guesses about how funds marked for the children of Papua New Guinea have gone missing. There are no ghosts within the education system.  

What is important is justice for ‘our’ children. Therefore it is rightful to find out how the money went missing – and fix it – and punish those who stole from the poor children. This is the right thing to do.

PNG's Investigative Task Force Sweep | Its Work Is Very Much Alive - Revive it, Fund It

It is good to see Peter O'Neill's brain child, the ITFS, has achieved since its inception when he came to power in 2014.

Many, both PNG and internationally, see the demise of this corruption fighting body as 'a father killing his own son to protect his reputation'. Self preservation and good governance do not go together. Why cut off funding for ITFS when white collar criminals are convicted as a result of its work? Why starve it to death? This is criminal.

Perhaps, the important action PNG government can take now is to fund ITFS without politicking about another anti-corruption body. For goodness sake, revive ITFS.



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