Showing posts with label K50 TFF Stolen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label K50 TFF Stolen. Show all posts

PAC TO ENQUIRE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ON TFF in 2020 - NBC PNG NEWS

The Public Accounts Committee has announced that it has initiated its inquiry into the Tuition Fee-Free (TFF) policy.
The policy, a key policy of the former O'Neill Government has seen billions of kinas spent annually on TFF.

investigation into TFF education policy
Read about the TFF policy on PNG Insight (pnginsight.com)

However since its inception in 2012 - reports have revealed a massive drop in the quality of education despite millions having access.

PAC Chairman Sir John Pundari said notices have been sent to the Education Department to provide information to the Inquiry in October of this year and officers will be summoned and Hearings will commence in 2020.

 Sir John said the Committee has already received evidence from concerned individuals uncovering gross abuse of the TFF policy. 

He said Ghost schools and school boards have allegedly been paid.  

The PAC Chairman said other reports received by the PAC show an organized scam involving Education Department officials and certain school boards where deliberate overpayments were made.

The Inquiry comes at a time when the Marape-Steven Government has announced a fifty percent cut in the TFF policy for 2020.

Meantime, the PAC is currently dealing with Inquiry into the millions of kinas worth of contracts for the procurement of medical drugs and supplies by the national Department of Health has already uncovered gross abuse of systems and bribery among others.

Members of the PAC will visit health centers and aid-posts throughout the country this month as part of the Inquiry. 

 PAC recommences early 2020.

 NBC News- Lyanne Togiba
Picture: PAC

GOVT TO RELOOK TFF POLICY

The Marape-Steven Government will be re-looking the Tuition Fee free policy - a key policy of the former Government.
TFF policy/Facebook/NBC News

The policy introduced in 2012, enabling access to education for over one million of the country's young, has seen approximately four billion kina invested to date.

In Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister James Marape, while commending the former Government for the policy said it has both good and bad sides – and needs to be relooked.

He said the Government does not want to encourage lazy citizens, rather productive ones.

“There are also downsides to it, in as far as the quality interventions are concerned.

Many of our parents and citizens have pulled back, thinking that is 100 percent Government obligation.

We will look into that policy as well without putting burden on our parents and citizens. 

We are looking into a program where there is a shared responsibility. 

I am divorcing and distancing from an absolute free education in our lower level systems but we are working at a higher education – skills level, college level, certificate level.

And we are trying to share arrangement at the lower level, I have citizens from my electorate who are adults – they say Government is paying for free education and they are not responding or contributing to the economy but are instead lazying their way through life,” Mr. Marape said.

Meantime, Papua New Guineans attending tertiary institutions in the country can expect to get some assistance with their tuition fees by 2020.

This following the announcement by Prime Minister James Marape in Lae recently, of the setting up of an 'endowment fund' that will see students benefiting from interest-free loans.

Mr. Marape elaborated on this today in Parliament, saying the Government understands the current burden that families have to pay annually for fees - which lies in the K5-000 to K20-000 mark.

He said the catch is that - all students will now have to register through the National Identification project in order to benefit from this scheme.

Mr. Marape was responding to questions by North Fly MP James Donald regarding the Government's announcement of an endowment fund to assist students at the tertiary level.

Source: NBC News 9th October 2019

30:30:40 TFF Funds Allocation Needed Clarity from 3 Key Stakeholders

This post revisits the joint ministerial statement by the, then, Education Minister and Education Secretary in 2016 regarding the Tuition Fee Free policy statement. The statement clearly showed the 30:30:40 breakdown of TFF grants. This post also highlights the key stakeholders of the policy.

Here is the 2016 joint press release and summerised in diagram below..

TFF funds allocation 2018

First, the Top 6 schools in the country that received the highest funds in 2018 as published by the NDoE in January 2019 are:

  1. GOROKA SECONDARY SCHOOL (EHP) K3,466,199.43
  2. ASAROKA LUTHERAN SEC. SCHOOL (EHP) K3,080,114.77
  3. KAINANTU TECHNICAL SEC. SCHOOL (EHP) K2,728,983.53
  4. KIAP NANO MEMORIAL SEC. SCHOOL (WHP) K2,657,222.77
  5. DREGERHAFEN SECONDARY SCHOOL (MOROBE) K2,233,444.85
  6. GEREHU SECONDARY SCHOOL (NCD) K2,208,447.28

You can see how much money your school or province receive here. The list was originally published by National Department of Education  (NDoE) on itswebsite in pdf form. 



PNG Insight rearranges the list of TFF-receiving schools in tabular form. This makes it easier to identify a particular school. Or, you can group school into a province, and identify how much  money each school is receiving in 2018.


Perhaps it is important to note that TFF grants given to schools in 2012 - 2017 are not available in the public domain, except the 2018 shown here.

School Learning Materials - 30% of TFF Grant

The Students' Supplies component of 30% is, also, an area needing clarity. The financial reports for the last 7 years for this component was not clearly reported on, or made available to public.

A private company has been allocated the money to procure and supply students learning materials. In fact, a dual secretarial and ministerial media statement in 2016 indicated that 30% of the TFF grant was allocated to Procurement and Supplies yearly. That is 30% of >K600 million every year in the hands of the private company.

So, has the procurement and distribution company delivered quality learning materials to schools? 

This year over K79 million was released to the private company to deliver materials for 2019. It is nearly half a year, but many schools have been waiting to receive the learning materials, unfortunately.

MPs PSIP and DSIP - 30% of TFF grant 

All schools in every district - elementary, primary and secondary - must receive help from their local MPs through the District Service Improvement Program funds released to the MPs. 

School infrastructure developments plans done by the school board, and captured in the school development plans or SLIPs, must be funded by the district grants.

Additionally, provincial governments through the provincial treasury must actively fund the development of school infrastructure in the country.

Why is there little-to-nothing to show for in the elementary, primary, high and secondary schools in the country?

Questions should be raised as to where the MPs have put the DSIP/PSIP grants meant for education and school infrastructure development, had the funds not reached the districts, schools and people.

Cash Grant for schools - 40% of TFF allocation

As mentioned earlier, 60% of TFF grants are in the hands of this private company and MPs - a lot of money. The NDoE deals with the 40% cash grant into school accounts, directly.

All in all, the ministerial statement 2016 clearly gave the break-down of the TFF grant into 30:30:40 components. Money meant for TFF policy are managed by the private  co, MPs and NDoE.

What is completely missing is transparency shown by the key stakeholders ( private company, NDoE and MPs) in the delivery of TFF policy.

The stakeholders will admit that there were obvious problems with TFF policy. Since 2012, TFF funds marked in the budgetary allocations have been more than the actual figures released. TFF grants were released to schools late.

The 3 key stakeholders have problems getting TFF monies on time.

But, regardless of the late disbursements monies and school supplies, in many cases,  the people MUST know over K600 million of TFF money have been disbursed to schools, the private company and MPs yearly.

Therefore, every stakeholder must demand that financial and transaction reports are produced promptly.

It is common knowledge that there is a complete lack on transparency on reporting, or the accounts do not balance out, IF no financial balance sheet is published to date.

This surmounts to a failure in the way the policy is implemented. Furthermore, when the books do not balance, there is something seriously wrong. And needed fixing.

There are whispers in the education corridors that the 30:30:40 components had been readjusted in 2018. However, there is no media statement or published document from the NDoE to confirm that the adjustment.

If that happened, it is canny that stakeholders did *not* know about the recent TFF component adjustment.

And, what is the new break-down?

Read more about the recommendations of a TFF policy research here.
  • The private company releases the financial report of procurement and supply of students learning materials,
  • The MPs have clearly identified how much they spent on school infrastructure development in their districts, and
  • The NDoE publishes the TFF grant yearly report for 2012 - 2017. Note that the 2018 TFF report was published early this year, 2019.
Finally, the TFF policy is a cornerstone policy for the PNG goverment and for the country. The policy needs fine-tuning. 

PNG is better placed, at present, to deliver a better tuition fee (EDUCATION FEE) policy given its experiences in the last 8 years.

REVIEW OF TUITION FEE-FREE EDUCATION POLICY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA: INSPECTORS AND DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS PIVOTAL

Challenges of implementing a free education policy have been many. Political will and funding are among the top issues, including education department’s capacity to monitor and evaluate the policy. From 2012 to 2016, the government’s commitment to implementation of Tuition Fee-Free Education (TFFE) policy has been better than the other attempts in 1981, 1993 and 2002. In addition, funding commitment was consistent and the amount committed to implementing the TFFE policy set the bench-mark for any future governments wanting to implement the free education policy.

Size of TFF funds since 2002

On the contrary, there were many challenges faced between 2012 and 2016. TFFE policy framework lacked detail from the beginning, though there were guides like the TFFE Manual 2012 to show attempts have been made to establish some control mechanisms. In fact, details of monitoring and evaluating was lacking and therefore a major obstacle to the success the policy both in the past and present.

For example the School Learning and Improvement Plans (SLIP) which is the key for knowing what has actually transpired on the ground (in schools), as far as accounting for TFFE spending was concerned, remained obscure.  By this I mean, the school inspectors (call them standard officers) and district administrators (DA) played an important role to not only maintain standard, but also improve standard. 

The inspectors and  DAs are a link between schools and department of education and this link is vital for monitoring school operations and providing accurate reports required by the Tuition Fee-Free Secretariat of the National Department of Education. And therefore, the standard officers and DAs not monitoring SLIP (school population, development plans, head teachers’ spending, etc.…) have a negative impact on the. overall monitoring and reporting of TFFE policy. Their roles are pivotal to whether the government gets an accurate report or not.


One could argue that the SLIP does not correlate to TFFE policy and its implementation, and the school inspectors and DAs have little to do with the school yearly plans. This is not true. The school yearly plan (SLIP) tells you all you need to know before releasing the government’s fund to a school; monitoring it on a regular basis; and reporting it as and when required. In brief, strictly monitoring SLIP gives you the ability to meet the challenges and limitations of implementing the TFFE policy.

Is it too late to talk about the TFFE policy? Well, the question of continuation of the policy is sketchy as are the election results post 2017 elections – no one knows what happens until it happens. So, we never know. But what we know is that the current government TFFE policy continued for the last five years – no government is the past has done that. It is an achievement. Nevertheless, there are many challenges.

Perhaps it is important to know that who (or which party) forms the government after 2017 election is NOT important. What is important is that EDUCATION, must, remain number one. The new government has to plan to ensure key stakeholders like the school inspectors and DAs perform their roles effectively. Also the new government must identify the KEY INDICATORS needed addressing within the education system, and address them properly from the beginning.



I have written extensively about the Tuition Fee-Free policy since its inception in successive years. The screen shots are the Abstract and Content pages of an academic paper I wrote for a post graduate study. The paper reviews three governments efforts in the past, compares it to the current government attempts and discusses 4 recommendations needed going forward.


An updated version of this paper  now available. You can download the Tuition Fee Free Education Policy in PNG PDF for free (⇒ PDF download)

Declaimer: All attempts have been made to ascertain the factuality of information presented in this academic paper. Please, let the writer know if there is anything you wish to point out in the comment section. You can use the Contact Form or Twitter ().




K75.4 MILLION TUITION FEE FREE FUNDS FOR TERM 2 QUARTER 2 RECEIVED

Statement by Education Minister, Nick Kuman

I am pleased to announce to all our schools and school administrations throughout the country that the Department of Treasury has released the warrant for K75.4 million to complete the Tuition Fee Free payments for the second quarter or Term 2 of 2016. This latest payment brings the total TFF release to K301 million. I am thankful to the government for its commitment by giving priority to this key policy to ensure that every child receives a quality education.  The Department of Education is now working on the payments to be deposited in the commercial banks. Schools will have access to their money by next week.

The National Government has appropriated K602 million in 2016 with K150.5 million to be paid each quarter. The Infrastructure Component will be paid into TFF Trust Accounts held at the District Treasury for the schools to access in the near future. Current all funds are paid to schools.

The Department of Education now has a TFF Quality Assurance Officer in each province. This officer will be the direct link between the schools, the provincial office and the Department. The provincial officer and overseeing the disbursements of TFF payments and also deal with other TFF related matters.

I once again remind schools and their administrations to use the money wisely and only on areas that will improve the teaching and learning in the classroom. Governing boards of each school must ensure funds are used prudently, transparently, and also account with proper reports to parents and education authorities.

EDUCATION TUITION FEE FREE (TFF) POLICY - A Joint Statement by the Minister and Acting Secretary

Originally published on Department of Education Facebook page, 22 January 2016.

We are pleased to announce that we now have a single integrated Tuition Fee Free policy that will provide further clarity and direction in the implementation of tuition fee free.

Education is a right for all children, both boys and girls, in Papua New Guinea and we are very thankful that this Government had made one of the boldest decisions ever made by any government when it introduced the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) policy in 2011.

This landmark policy is benefiting all children irrespective of background across our country. We have had challenges in implementing and monitoring this massive agenda as we remit over K2billion to over 10,000 schools each year and aim to ensure accountability.

We would like to commend our officers and stakeholders for their continuous work to ensure that the TFF policy is rolled out and implemented in all schools throughout the country. 

We are now making this policy available to all our schools and institutions and also our stakeholders including the general public so that they understand it and help us to implement it successfully. We believe that this policy will give opportunity to many more children to have complete education from Prep to Grade 12 and thus contributing to the human resources that will develop our great country.

1. POLICY STATEMENT 
The Government of Papua New Guinea will provide tuition fee free funding to schools registered under the National Education System to enable all school aged children to access universal quality education from Preparatory grade to Grade 12, including students in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Flexible Open and Distance Education (FODE) and inclusive education.

2. POLICY INTENT 
The TFF Policy means that: 
1. All school aged children will have access to free tuition in elementary, primary and secondary - 13 years of complete education.
2. Students will not be discriminated against on the grounds of economic circumstance – with equal opportunity for all. 
3. All people in PNG will be educated. 
4. Parents, guardians and stakeholders are engaged and take shared responsibility for education in PNG

3. POLICY: INTENDED OUTCOMES 
1. All children and youth have access to elementary, primary and secondary - 13 years of complete education – leading to compulsory education. 
2. All people in PNG will be educated and be able to contribute to the country’s development and future growth. 
3. Equity is enhanced. Education is available to all children in all communities across PNG irrespective of gender, economic or geographic background. 
4. Parents are relieved from the burden of fees. Hence savings are invested to improve the quality of life of Papua New Guineans, towards achieving Vision 2050.

4. SCHOOL FEES & COMPONENTS
4.1. Scope of TFF
1. A grant covering the maximum fee limits set by the National Education Board is paid by the National Government for the learning needs of students attending registered Elementary, Primary, Secondary and Vocational Schools and Inclusive Education Resource Centres and FODE and also approved and registered Permitted schools. All employees of the Department of Education must comply with this policy and the accompanying TFF Implementation Guide.

4.2. TFF Components
TFF has three (3) components. 
I. Cash Administration 40%
II. Infrastructure 30%
III. Teaching and Learning 30%

I. Cash Administration Component (40%) 
Cash grants are paid directly to school accounts registered with the DoE.

II. Infrastructure Component (30%) 
Grant to schools for the provision of infrastructure – both for routine works and new capital works. This component will be held in Trust by District Treasuries and released to schools (with a corresponding District Service Improvement Program component where provided) based on scope of works and quotes.

III. Teaching and Learning Component (30%)
Government will assist in the provision of teaching and learning materials. This includes consumables and capital assets, equipment and curriculum materials. This component will be centrally managed through the regions.

4.3. Project Fees
Additional fees may be imposed by schools for special purposes as approved by the National Education Board and Provincial Education Board. Students will not be denied an education for non-payment of this fee.

Maximum Project Fee limits may change from year to year. Project Fee Limits for 2016 are as follows:
Level - Maximum Fee
Elementary - K50
Primary - K100
High Schools/Vocational K200
Secondary Schools K250

4.4. Church Agency Fees
Additional fees may be imposed by Church Agencies through their schools for special purposes as approved by National Education Board and Provincial Education Board. Students will not be denied to education for non-payment of this fee. Public notices will put out to advice on the fee limits.

5. POLICY DIRECTIONS 
5.1. Responsibilities
1. The TFF policy and funding will remain a national function, whilst implementation, monitoring and reporting will be provincial and district administrative functions. 
2. The National Government will provide 100% of Tuition Fees for school aged students enrolled in schools registered within the National Education System.
3. The National Government will pay a proportionate subsidy of the total Tuition Fees for school aged students enrolled in permitted and approved and registered schools with the Department of Education.
4. Parents, guardians and other stakeholders will have the responsibility to provide additional basic requirements such as, but not limited to, school uniforms, sports equipment, lunch, transportation, toiletries, and additional stationery.

5.2. Right to Education 
No child can be refused enrolment or restricted in her/his place in a school or learning program if unable to contribute project fees, church fees, or any other form of fees including tuition fee free grants.

5.3. Project and Church Agency Fees Rules
Schools may collect project fees within the national fee limits set by the NEB, but must follow the following rules: 
1. Schools may propose projects fees to the PEB for specific school infrastructure projects or a project that will contribute to students’ education. The Parents and Citizens of the school must approve such projects through formal Meetings, recorded in Minutes.
2. The NEB will set annual maximum limits for project fees and church fees, with PEBs authorizing local limits within the nationally established maximums.
3. PEBs will only approve projects fees where they are demonstrated to be educationally sound and viable projects, approved by minuted meetings of Parent & Citizens and School Boards. Such fees must be at or below the national NEB approved limit.
4. PEBs will only approve church agency fees, which are education related and will contribute to the spiritual growth of students. Such fees must be at or below the national NEB approved limit. 
5. No student will denied access to schools or classes for non payment of project or church agency fees.

5.4. Finance 
1. TFF will be paid to qualifying schools on an annual basis, according to the TFF Implementation Guide that will accompany this policy. 
2. TFF grants will be paid into one specific Cheque Account opened with a Commercial bank approved by the School Board and endorsed by the Provincial Education Board. This bank account must never change. This bank account must hold a minimum balance of K100.00 and remain open at all times. Closure of accounts will stop banks from sending funds into school accounts. 
3. TFF funds must be spent according to the Public Finance Management Act and Financial Instructions issued by the Department of Finance and other authorities.
4. District and Provincial Treasurers will sign and approve expenditures of all schools as stipulated in Financial Instructions. Thresholds of expenditure approval limits for each level of school are prescribed in the Implementation Guide and must be complied with by all head teachers of institutions. 
5. TFF funds must be spent according to the approved procedures for planning, expenditure and acquittal attached to this policy. 
6. School management must maintain and submit quarterly transparent financial reports for acquittal and audit purposes.

5.5. Schools Register and Enrolment Data 
1. TFF will be paid to qualifying schools on an annual basis, according to the Implementation Guide. Accurate Real time data is critical. 
2. The Head teacher of each school will be responsible for submitting accurate real time data and required information, twice a year, to be eligible for annual TFF payments as prescribed in the Implementation Guide. 
3. Head teachers will submit enrolment data to the District Education Implementation Committee (DEIC) twice a year. 
(a) Complete a school census form and submit by June 30 each year. 
(b) Complete ONLY part one of the school census form and submit by November 30 of each year. 
4. The District Education Implementation Committee will provide real time verified data to the Department of Education Corporate Data Branch with copies to the Provincial Education Planning Office. 
5. Provincial Education Offices will submit verified data according to procedures as set out in the Implementation Guide. 
6. The data submitted by schools to the DEIC must be signed off and stamped only by the authorised school inspectors. The Inspector or Standard Officer will be accountable for any inaccurate data he or she endorses. 
7. DEIC will complete a new District School Register Form and submit to the Department of Education – Corporate Data Branch twice a year.

5.6. TFF Implementation Guide
The TFF Implementation Guide that accompanies this Policy is equally important and therefore it must be read, implemented and complied with concurrently.

6. GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
6.1. The Minister
The Minister for Education is responsible to the government for setting the policy guidelines and ensuring the implementation of the TFF policy by the Department of Education and other education authorities under the Education Act 1983.

6.2. Inter Departmental TFF Steering Committee
Provides oversight and advice to the Minister and Secretary on the TFF policy implementation and monitoring of this policy. This Committee includes Secretaries of the Departments or delegates at the Deputy Secretary level:
i) Secretary of Department of Education; (Chairman)
ii) Secretary or Delegate at Deputy Level - Department of Finance;
iii) Secretary or Delegate at Deputy Level - Department of National Planning;
iv) Secretary or Delegate at Deputy Level - Department of Treasury
v) Secretary or Delegate at Deputy Level - Department of PM; and
vi) Deputy Secretary for Education – Policy & Corporate Services

6.3. The Secretary 
The Secretary for the National Department of Education is responsible for the implementation of the TFF Policy. Monitoring and evaluation of the policy is the responsibility of the Deputy Secretary, Policy and Corporate Services.

6.4. TFF Secretariat 
A TFF Secretariat within the DoE will be created with additional capacity to provide administrative support to the Secretary for Education and will assist the work of the Inter Departmental TFF Steering Committee. Provincial Coordinators will be appointed to assist the Secretariat to implement the policy. The Inter-Departmental TFF Steering Committee will report to the Minister for Education. All other stakeholders’ responsibilities are covered in the TFF Implementation Guide.

6.5. District Education Implementation Committee
The DEIC will be established in each district to approve School Learning Improvement Plans, ensure proper use of TFF funds by each school and will verify school and enrolment data collected through every School Census. The membership will consist of a church representative, CEO of District Development Authority, community representative and the District Education Administrator and District Standard Officer/Inspectors.

7. MONITORING AND REPORTING
The Policy is implemented, monitored and reported on a regular basis. The mandatory reports are as follows; 
Report Recipient/ Report by/Type of Report/Frequency/ Deadlines

- Parliament/ Minister/Parliament Statement/Annual/March 30.
- NEC/Minister/NEC Information paper/Bi Annual /June 31, Dec 31
- Inter – Departmental TFF SC/ Secretary for Education. Administration and Financial Report/ Every Quarter/ March, June, September, December.
- NEB/ Deputy Sec PCS/ Administration and Financial Report Every Quarter March, June, September, December.
- TMT/ TFF Secretariat/Administration and Financial Report/Every two months/ Feb, Apr, June, Aug, Oct, Dec. 
- Heads of Schools School Boards and PEBs/ Administration and Financial Report/ Each term/ March, June, September, December.

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.