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

Sustaining Free Education: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis of TFF Policy in PNG

In brief, the PNG government's free education policy was an attempt to achieve integral human development that was stipulated in the vision and mission of the education department. The attempts to implement the free education policy in 1981, 1993 and 2002 were short lived. The attempt in 2012 by the O’Neill government lasted over] five years and its funding was consistent. 

Capacity to manage the Tuition Fee Free Education (TFFE) funds and report on it was lacking in the department of education [from the start]. The [recent] establishment of the TFF Secretariat, the Governance and Management Structure and the Reporting System to monitor the use of TFFE funds needed implementing urgently. 

It is important that all the stakeholders of the TFFE policy must ensure that the interest of the key stakeholders – the students – is paramount now and in the future. Down load PDF on button on the top left. 

You can download the Tuition Fee Free Education Policy in PNG PDF here (⇒ 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 ().

TFF policy: Sustaining Compulsory and Affordable Education Long Term

The slides (converted to PDF) is a presentation by PNG Insight at the ANU/UPNG 2018 Conference. It highlighted the 5 *goals* of the Tuition Fee-Free Policy and evaluated the challenges; and made 3 practical recommendations to sustain the policy long term.



The 5 goals are:

1. Access is improved for all children, especially girls;
2. Retentions is enhanced where more children complete 9 years of primary education [13 years of pre-primary to secondary education inclusive] 
3. Quality of education is improved for all grade of elementary to primary levels;
4. Education management is strengthen across all administrative levels [implementing & monitoring TFFE policy];
5. Equity is enhanced to ensure quality education is available for all children in all communities across the country.

More than 7 years of implementing the TFF policy there is a need to completely review the whole process. The presentation gives 3 practical recommendations to not only sustain but also strengthen the TFF policy.

You can download the Tuition Fee Free Education Policy in PNG PDF here (⇒ 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 ().

Politics and Tuition Fee Free Education Policy in PNG

ABSTRACT

Though much has been written about the successes and failures of the Tuition Fee-Free Education(TFFE) policy in Papua New Guinea (PNG), there is a need for in-depth discussion on sustaining the policy not only now, but also in the future. This paper argues that the sustainability of TFFE policy is an important development issue. In particular, it attempts to discover how the National Department of Education (NDoE) aligns its sectorial strategies (and medium term development plans) with department’s vision, mission, objectives and goals.

It is essential that planning (both strategic and operational) by past and current governments focuses on continuity of TFFE policy. The paper uses literature review and online data to discuss the issue of TFFE sustainability. It gives details of policy timing, political parties and duration of the policy by comparing past to current experiences; discusses sectorial strategic plan and medium term development plans relating the policy; and also presents data analysis of TFFE fund allocations. The paper also uses percentages and average values to compare and contrast specific data relevant to support the findings.


There are two important findings. Firstly, the ruling political parties in 1981, 1993 and 2002 announced implementation of free education policy just before national general elections. The earlier attempts lasted less than 18 months because of the change in governments. Secondly, the data revealed lack of TFFE funding consistency in the last decade. ‘Political will’ in the last five years was remarkably high. This raised the question to the sustainability of the TFFE policy in Papua New Guinea in the long term.

You can download the Tuition Fee Free Education Policy in PNG PDF here (⇒ 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 ().

Tuition Fee Free Education Policy - Parents Must Prepare For Uncertain 2017

Payment of Tuition Fee-Free funds to schools has always been an interesting issue among the key stakeholders. Schools skeptical of government's timely commitment and the decisions to pass project fees to parents to pay had been a hot topic among parents, schools and government since the policy's inception. 

The challenge to release funds on time to schools has not been addressed properly. That is why schools and boards are forced to pass fees onto parents. Nevertheless, the recent government's commitment to TFF education policy in the last 5 years (2012 - 2016) must be commended. Through thick and thin the academic year during those years have come to completion, with parents paying nothing. 

But, yet the impending problem still remains - school are not receiving TFF funds on time. This is evident in the PNG Teacher's Facebook discussion group (05.02.2017). One teacher called it a disgrace and reiterated this was the same problem all across the country. Under an hour the post got 15 Likes and a thread was forming. 



Surely lack of promptness is a disgrace. The continued delay of TFF funds payment to schools, even after the education secretary took to Post Courier's front page (31.01.2017) news shows something is not right. In hindsight it is not right to pass the blame around. It is only right to make sure schools have the funds to start each term, on day one of school year.


In fact, the TFF funds are always paid in quarterly installments every year - just before a term starts. This year 2017 is going to be challenging. Compared to the last past 5 years the government had some breathing spaces to gather funds to fund its TFF education policy. This year is the election year. Funds are going to be tight. In addition, the uncertainty of elections and formation of government after the 2017 General Elections, puts this education policy under spotlight. 

The education department must not be complacent! It has to have a contingency plan to not only complete the tuition fee-free year successfully, but also ensures parents are not fooled into paying school fees mid-year.  

The education system, going forward, has the challenge not to fool parents and sponsors. The department must now provide clear direction as far as schools fees and projects fees are concerned all throughout the election year.

The same challenge goes to parents and sponsors - save some money for you never know what's coming. 

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.

Non-Payment of Tuition Fees | "Anyone who gets in the way of the delivery of free education will be moved aside..."PNG PM.


THE GOVERNMENT IS PAYING K300 SCHOOL FEE PER CHILD AND EXPECTS SCHOOLS TO CONTINUE TILL ACADEMIC YEAR ENDS?

It is good to see PNG government is responding quickly to the news about schools closure. However, there are certain facts and figures we, as stakeholders, need to bear in mind.

1) The government allocated K605 million to fund Tuition Fee Free education policy. With this funding, schools were directed by both education minister and secretary for National Department of Education not to charge any other fees like the project fees.

2) K605 million has been paid in two instalments: first component (K302.5) for terms one and two, and second K302.5 million for terms three and four. This is supposed to be paid with no strings attached.

3) Reports have indicated that only 70% (K211.75 million) of the first component was paid to receiving schools. The remaining 30% (K90.75 million) was now released to schools according to the Post Courier report below. Why is it released now, when some schools have closed early for term one holiday due to lack of funds? Who is the government blaming? Would schools have closed prematurely if the government released the first component in full?

4) Perhaps this is an important question: 'Are we likely to see schools closing before the end of term two?' I think yes because 70% the first component was not enough to take many schools through to the end of term one. Remaining 30% paid recently was just a drop in the ocean to complete term 2, not sufficient for a term. 

5) All in the good name of the government, this K605 million was not enough. With a national school population of 1.9 million students, the government has planned to pay about K300 school fee per child (that was for the whole year) and expected the schools to continue without closure. 

The PM, Education Minister and NDoE secretary can go dancing to the tune of K605 million for free education, but it trickles down to nothing when you have a students' population near 2 million.  

It was clear that the investigation into any allegation of abuse of TFF funds, commissioned  and talked about by the Chief Secretary of Government, would have to be withdrawn as it  was unlikely to fix the problem. It would only uncover the weak areas and threw mud at the government. 

If the government wants to see smooth flow of academic year, it must either double the TFF subsidy or allow for parents to pay half the school fees and project fees.

It is, also, time to stop the Education Minister and his department secretary from meddling with the affairs of provincial education authorities or school board of management. Let the school BoGs, principals and PEAs do their jobs as they have done before the introduction of TFF (free) education policy.


BY ISAAC NICHOLAS

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has directed that all outstanding school fee subsidies be made direct to individual schools by this week.

He said to facilitate these payments, K90 million was drawn down last Friday to pay the remainder of tuition fee free funding for the first two terms of the current school year.

Mr O’Neill outlined this plan of action that was being delivered alongside the investigation commissioned by Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc that was seeking answers to the possibility of misappropriation of school fees.

He said the investigation included where the unaccounted funds had gone, but of greater urgency the commission would provide details of schools that had been cut short of funds so that they could be paid direct by the Government this week.

"The delivery of tuition free education is a cornerstone policy of our Government and we will not let this be interrupted by incompetence or mismanagement," he said.

"We promised the people of this nation that we would get their children into school and this is what we are doing.

"Anyone who gets in the way of the delivery of free education will be moved aside and we will deliver these school fees for our families.

"I have directed that all schools still awaiting their school fee subsidy will receive this money direct from the Government this week. There is no reason for any school not to open for the new school term.

"Education is a right for all children of Papua New Guinea and our Government will continue to implement reform to ensure our children can attend school regardless of their economic situation."

He said the list of schools that had not received their full funding was being finalised and outstanding money would be released direct to schools in the coming days.

He was responding to reports last week that 13,000 public schools will close in term two due to non-payment of free tuition fee subsidy.

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

2015 Tuition Fee Free: Is K605 Million Enough To Complete the Academic Year?



I thought I should clarify some points following my previous post on conflicting information from National Department of Education (NDoE) and schools about project fees for this year. The minister for education and secretary has given a ministerial directive to parents NOT to pay any project fee:

''Schools that impose projects fees on students will not receive their component of the ‘Tuition Free Fee’ (TFF) from the Government.

That was the message from Education Minister Nick Kuman at a media conference today in Port Moresby.

Kuman said project fees should not be imposed as the government was paying the fees of students to attend schools.

He said a circular will be issued  by the Department Secretary to all the schools around the country not to collect project fees.

“Every child is supported by the Government and schools have no choice but to allow them into the classroom.

“Any school that imposes project fees will not be given TFF,” said Kuman.
Education Secretary Michael Tapo said the first component of school fees will be made available in the first two weeks when schools resume this year.

K605 million has been allocated for TFF around the country, with half of that to be paid first.

PNG Loop [19/01/2025]

However, some schools in the country fearing Tuition Fees delay have gone ahead and charged project fees to get started. Local media reports revealed that schools in Bougainville and Morobe have decided to do that. This has resulted is stern warning from NDoE’s recent circular:

''To all Parents and Citizens in Papua New Guinea whom your children are attending Elementary, Primary, Secondary, National High Schools, Vocational centres, Flexible Open and Distance Education and Special Education schools : 

You MUST REPORT IMMEDIATELY to your Regional Directors if you are charged any PROJECT FEES in 2015 academic year, below are the names and contacts of the Regional Directors and their Digicel hotline:

SOUTHERN Paul Ainui 72228304. 
HIGHLANDS. Aloysius Rema 72228266. 
MOMASE Joseph Moide 72228273. 
NGI Henry Vainak 72228280.

National Newspaper. [12/02/2015]

It is ominous that schools will have to refrain from charging any fee. Schools that have incomplete projects or are planning projects are going to have to face the reality. The big question now is whether K605 million is enough to get every school through the end of the year. 

Is this money (K605 million) enough? Take a look at this conservative estimate: if the students’ population is 1 million, that would mean that the government is paying only K605 school fee for every child. If the population is 500 000, then the government is paying K1210 per child. This estimate gives you a perception of what a child would have paid this year, though the fees are different in every school.  

School principals and head teachers - especially those that have incomplete projects (or are planning one) - will have to either beg their provincial governments for funding or use portion of TFF to realise fruit of their project. I am being sceptical but are parents likely to see schools closing prematurely before the year ends?

I am of the view that project fee is an 'access fee' that schools add on to annual school fee and passed onto parents to pay. This is only done when there is need for a school project: for example building new teachers' house, running agricultural or practical skills project, etc.

If NDoE is serious about this directive why don't they make it clear in 2012 when TFF policy started? Many schools collected project fees in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Why the change this year? Does this mean the government has allocation takes into consideration project fees? How did they work that out? What is the actual student population? How much is the government paying per child attending Elementary, Primary, Secondary, NHS, Vocational centres, FODE and Special Education schools?

Another point worth mentioning is the decentralised education system. Provinces like the Autonomous region of Bougainville and Morobe have some powers over internal affairs of their education system. This means that Provincial Education Authorities are in control over teachers' salary, leave fares and Project Fees among others.

Perhaps it is important to note that most of the funding comes from the national government. In regard to project fee directive, the national department for education stand is clear. Every stakeholder must obey.

Yes, schools must obey the directive. But, NDoE is not clear on the composition of the tuition fee. Everybody presumes that the fee covers everything. I would be convinced if the education officials and minister give a break-down of a student's school fee for this year. 

Instead of sending out one circular after another, they would do well if they had indicated how much the government was paying per child and what percentage of the school's fee was meant for project.