Showing posts with label School Closure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label School Closure. Show all posts

SHIT HAS HIT THE FAN | PNG Government To Declare State of Emergency On Tuition Fee Free Education Policy


Reports have revealed that a school in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville was closed, others were on the verge of closing. In my previous posts, I highlighted the need to be cautious about Tuition Free Policy and 'the risk' of stopping schools from charging project fees - school closing prematurely


Having written widely about the policy and platform of the current government on education, I think the government needs a reality check. Many schools are on the verge of closing merely a quarter into the academic year due to lack of funds. 

The best this government needs to do is to stop a school from closing. If one school closes, that will mean either the government's TFF policy has failed or education officials have failed the government. 

Either way, one thing is for sure: a school must not shut down due to non payment of fees. If that happens that would reflect on the government's inability to pay, monitor and control its policy on free education. 

Another point worth mentioning is the amount (K605 million) earmarked for free education this year. The Post Courier reported that schools' population in the country is 1.9 million. Conservatively, about 2 million students are eligible for the TFF nationwide. 

This implies that, on average, the government would have paid K302.50 per child. This should have raised red lights earlier in the year. By this I mean, the government (Department of Education) should have allowed schools to charge project fees to keep them going. It was done since 2012 when Peter O'Neill government introduced its TFF policy. Why changing it? 

So, here we are! What can be done differently to make it work? I think the onus is now on the government to restore any lost confidence. The government must pay up. 

Forced closure of schools begs the question of trust. Will the stakeholders in the education sector and parents trust the government or any of its future plans on education? 

It would not be good to see the government using education (the future of young people) as a political football. Scoring points to win election is one thing, but playing around with the education of a nation is a serious matter. It must be considered carefully. 

Schools in Papua New Guinea Are Closing - Government Is Not Paying Tuition Fees

On February the thirteenth 2015, after the Minister for Education and NDoE Secretary stopped schools from charging project fees, PNG-Insight highlighted that schools in the country face  closure before the academic years ends.

First reason being that K605 million for free education may not be enough. (see the reasons highlighted here).

Second, PNG government does not have enough money. This problem is made worse by the decline in Oil Price, which the government is relying on when putting together 2015 Budget.

Schools in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are now facing close - one is reported to have closed. This came after principals from Catholic schools raised concerns about government's not paying full installment of fees for the first and second terms. 

Does it mean PNG government's  Free Education policy has failed? It is too early to conclude that the Tuition Fee Free policy is failing, but there are tell-tale signs indicating failure. 

The important question is not what will Peter O'Neill's government can do, but can his government remit funds to schools on time before second term starts? Can the government pay the second installment for terms three and four in full? Peter O'Neill's government must remain true to it Tuition Fee Free policy. The Government must keep ALL schools in the country running without a pause or a stop.

It is not surprising. The writing was on the wall. Schools in Papua New Guinea are facing closure and some are already closing. This is evident from the report by Aloysius Laukai (in blue) and post by the member for Bulolo Hon. Sam Basil on his Facebook page (can be seen at the bottom) 


FIVE BOUGAINVILLE SCHOOLS ON THE VERGE OF CLOSURE

By Aloysius Laukai

Five Bougainville boarding schools are on the verge of closing if funds owed to them under the National Government’s Free Education Policy are not released by next week.

This was revealed today by the Principal of Hutjena Secondary School on Buka island, MARTIN TAKALI.

MR TAKALI told New Dawn FM that his schools was supposed to get SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND KINA for the first two terms of this year which was seventy percent of the total allocation to the school.

He said that the remaining THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND for the remaining 3rd and 4th term are normally paid in June.

MR. TAKALI said his school was only paid about THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINA which is FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND KINA short.

He said this balance has to be paid so that the School continues to operate up to June.

MR. TAKALI said that some schools received their SEVENTY PERCENT allocation and is questioning why all schools were not treated the same way.

He said that the KOROMIRA TECHNICAL SCHOOL had already closed because they did not get anything at all for the 2015 academic year.

He has also written to the Bougainville Education Office and the ABG to intervene and assist his school to make sure students are not deprived from their right to education because of late payments.
Ends

The Chief Secretary before investigating the schools he should now find ways with his political colleagues to help pay...
Posted by Samuel H. Basil on Wednesday, 8 April 2015