Education in PNG – Church demands clarification regarding school fees

school fees

Inadequate funding for day to day management of Catholic Agency schools was been brought to the attention of the Government last year says Papua New Guinea’s National Catholic Education Board chairman Fr Paul Jennings.

“These facts were pointed out to the Prime Minister, Education Minister and Education secretary in a letter from the Catholic Bishops Heads of Catholic Agency schools in July last year,” Jennings said.

He said Peter O’Neill had directed the Education Minister Nick Kuman and secretary Dr Uke Kombra to respond to the Bishops’ concerns. “So far there has been no response,” he said.

Jennings said that such disregard for the Catholic Bishops and Education agencies which they lead and educates more than 25 per cent of children, was one reason for going public.

The National Catholic Education Board took out paid advertisement in the newspapers in February to clarify its stand on current confusion about school fees.

“It’s about finding the best legal way to educate our children,”  says Bomai D Witne  a lecturer in Political Science at the University of Goroka.

“There are several underlying issues which we believe the general public needs to understand in the current confusion about school fees.”

“The government’s policy is well-intended and should be seen as heavily subsidising tuition fees, which does leave some responsibility for tuition fees with the parents.”

“But this is not the case now. The government wants to pay full fees and has told parents to ensure this direction is complied with by schools.”

“Since its inception the tuition fee free policy has placed schools under stress. Some of the best schools in the country, which were held in high esteem, are no longer excellent as a result of the policy.”

Kuman has directed school not to accept any money from parents.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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